Wednesday, May 26, 2021


It's a little early in the process, but it sounds like good opportunities for them to find their forever homes.  

Justice still needs to get his feet done.  We've noticed he has a "wonky" right rear foot. He doesn't limp or anything like that, but when he stands he usually isn't standing on it and this morning I noticed he was resting it on his other rear foot.  While it was up like that I sneaked a peek, he has way too much frog and the bars really need trimming, they look overgrown.  I would imagine it's been damaged at sometime in his life, although it doesn't seem to bother him at all. 

Ruthie was out in a foster home for about 6 years and came home a few weeks ago because the jenny she was with died.  She is really sweet and has fit in well with the "A" team.  That consists of Tula the head jenny, Frijolita her 2nd in command, the boys, Boaz and usually Casper the little mini mule, sometimes BlackJack make up the "A" team.  Ruthie has blended right in.  But she is healthy and it would be nice for her to have a family of her own.  

Things have really been lively around here.  Last week-end Suzanne and 7 of our donkeys participated in the Juniper Jog a 5+ mile jog at Flagstaff, AZ put on by the Bray Club.  Everyone had a good time, our Harley and his team mate Gary finished 3rd overall.......!!  


Buddy and Suzanne planning their race strategy

    Our guys in their pen, with a few others.  The donkeys enjoy having friends to hang out with and there's plenty of room. The spotted one "resting" is Harley that finished 3rd, don't know if this picture was taken before or after the JOG.

                LaRoy and Jackson are making their team mates do all the work.

Siggy and his team mate Renee stopping long enough for a quick picture.  Siggy is a micro mini, he is only 28 inches tall.  He really doesn't know he's little and has no problem challenging any of the guys that might think some of the girls are pretty cute. 

Yes, that is snow on the mountain in the background.  The forecast before they left said it would be 30-33 degrees Saturday night, where the race got down to  27* with a wind chill that made it feel 21*.  A lot of them were "roughing it", sleeping in their cars in sleeping bags and reported it was a might bit chilly.  One good thing about Arizona, is as soon as the sun starts rising in the morning, so does the temperature.

I raced Saturday night for the 1st time in a month.  This year, so far has been a challenge.  We've only had 3 cars show up for the 1st 3 races.  The mini stocks are having the same problem, so the track has been putting the 2 classes together.  Our cars are stock, the mini stocks can do a lot of work on their cars we aren't allowed to do.  So they pretty much run away from us, but our finishes are kept separate.  So we might finish 5th, but actually get scored in 2nd place for our class.  

We are pretty much resigned to the reality that they will probably not run our class next year.  It's not much fun to watch or participate in, so I can't blame them.  Unfortunately there isn't any tracks that run the Hornets close enough that we could drag the car to, and continue racing, so I might have to retire.......!! 

To add to the on going challenge, the track decided they would make our race more interesting by having half the race on asphalt and half on the dirt infield.  There's a few reasons that isn't a good idea, one being going from one type of racing surface to the other, especially muddy dirt to asphalt can be messy.  Another is, they don't have lights in the infield directed to the infield.  They are all pointed outwards to the asphalt.  

But I've always said if someone furnishes you a track to race on, you best be there to help make the program.  I've only missed one race in 7 years and that was the last race in 2017, after I busted my knee in the next to last race of the season. 

We had planned on taking the new race car for it's maiden race, until they threw the half and half race at us.  Didn't want to take a brand new car into such a happening, so the Neon once again was suppose to run.  Got ready to put it on the trailer and it wouldn't start.  It did this a couple of races ago when I was sitting in staging waiting to go out for my race.  That's why we were actually going to put the Cavalier on the track and retire the Neon.  The problem with the Neon is an electrical/computer problem, which makes my crew chief (John) VERY unhappy and also racing friends that are trying to figure it out too.  So the Cavalier went on the trailer and to the track.

                                This is how it looked before the race.

This is how it looked after the did come home in one piece.  Had one close encounter and John popped the fender back out at the track.  I didn't really race, just survived, to hopefully do better next time.

Thursday, May 20, 2021


 Suzanne and I hauled some donkeys for a friend that ran a rescue between Tucson and Phoenix for many years.  She and her husband are  moving way out in the boonies with their menagerie of assorted throw away critters to retire.   When I say assorted, we hauled the donkeys.  Others had goats, a horse, chickens, one rooster and I think she said 8 dogs.  

   We hit the road before 9am and got home just about dark  600 miles later.  It really went well, considering her donkeys hadn't planned to jump in a trailer and go gadding about today.....!! LOL  Not sure about the other critters, the only one I heard was the rooster, and he had quite a bit to say more than once. 

She had friends there to help and we went from this......... this in probably less than 10-15 minutes.......they are all in there ready to head to their new "digs".......... 

       They had hay and water available when they got out of the trailer, so it wasn't                                             such a bad day after all......!! LOL  


We've got workers here repairing cracks in our house.  They've been here most of this week and probably will be here most of next week. 

Our house is a passive solar rammed earth house.  It's an ancient method of building using the same type of earth used to make adobe blocks.  But instead of making blocks they dump the earth into frames for the walls and tamp it until it is as hard as a block.  The walls are 2 foot thick which keeps inside temperatures pretty neutral,   we only have a small wood stove for heat and ceiling fans in each room for cooling.  

Although it is an old method that has worked for thousands of years, the builder that built it 30 years ago decided to put foam insulation on the outside before it was stuccoed.  

 Over the years we have had it worked on 3 or 4 times, unfortunately  when the cracks are fixed they come back after a couple of years.  The crew working on it this time, showed us what the problem is...........the blue foam insulation they put on the outside is breaking down and basically sliding down.  There are no cracks anywhere except where they put the foam on the outside.  Guess we'll find out if they have a better idea this time.......!!!  

When we had the house built we didn't know that some builders put up rammed earth houses without stuccoing them.  They leave the walls just bare rammed stabilized earth and in Australia their roofs have long overhangs to protect the walls from rain. 

Some more of Roger Thompson's wonderful pictures. 

                                                        Siggy and friends.........

Casper has decided he like the grunge look.  He's actually white, but recently he's dirty more often than he's clean.  As dry as it is around here, can't imagine where he's finding the mud.

                                                Boaz, Harley and Cochise

Friday, May 14, 2021


 All that means is, it got a couple of degrees hotter at the Tucson Airport and hit 100 degrees.  It's been pretty hot the last week or so, just hadn't hit the magic number.

Roger Thompson the photographer that was here for a few days, has shared so many pictures with us, I don't know where to start. He says he will be back in the fall, I guess to take more pictures....!!!  LOL

This is Casper the mini mule, Frijolita and I think Tula, eating prickly pear.  Actually we think we've figured out what they are doing.  
This patch of prickly pear use to be pretty, lots of pads and putting on buds that would have had lots of pretty orange flowers later in the summer.  This stuff laying on the ground is what is left of a pack rat nest that was under the prickly pear.  Pack rats put lots of stuff in their nests, one major item is mesquite beans.........!!  Since the donkeys got cheated out of their mesquite beans last summer, they have probably zeroed in on some poor pack rat's stash....!! LOL

Roger is a man of many interests.  I could never get a picture like this with my little camera.  This is John's backyard thistle feeder.

I've tried to get pictures of John's quail he feeds behind the house, but I could never get pictures like this.  Of course Roger has a lens that is almost as long as I am tall....!! LOL  Well, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but he doesn't have to get close to get good pictures.  Quail are very flighty, if they see any movement they all fly.  Well most of the time they do, except usually there is one that doesn't get the "danger" memo.  Everyone else flies off and he will just stand there looking around like, "what happened, where did everyone go"?  I have a feeling those don't survive very long in the wild. 


Another one of our neighbors, although they usually are in group, looking for road kill.  Maybe this one is a scout, looking for the groups next meal.  So many people go "yuck" when they see a vulture, but they are very valuable to help cleanup the environment.  They also have gorgeous feathers.  When I made wall hangings, if we were traveling and saw one by the road that had been hit, I'd end up sitting beside the road picking feathers for my next project. 


Roger brought out a drone to get some shots from above.  Usually the donkeys in the morning are all in this area, waiting for us to come out for round-up and breakfast.  On this morning, John had to bring out some hay to get their attention.  We try not to say they will do something....... because they usually don't........!!!  LOL

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


 His name is Justice, he is a dark brown standard donkey with feet that really need a trim and a body that really needs to trim down about 40-50 pounds.

He lost his companion a couple of weeks ago and we were asked to take him by the older couple.  They both have mobility and health issues and they certainly aren't in a position to take on another donkey.  

 He is about the most cooperative, curious, mellow and laid back donkey I've ever seen.  Have no idea how long he had been in that pen.  Suzanne put a halter on him, we put 2 leads on him, just in case, she led him to the trailer and he hopped in like he had just done it yesterday.  




This morning we let him out.........

I was going to take a picture of him coming out of the pen, but he came out like he wanted to see everything all at once and I couldn't keep up...!!!  I'm pretty sure by the end of the day he will have seen everything there is to see on the property....  LOL


He finally slowed down enough to eat some greasewood (creosote) and I got a picture.  Not a very good one, but if he's going to keep moving like is has been, I can't be picky.......!! 

Yesterday Suzanne and a volunteer groomed everyone including him. We didn't know how he would react but he LOVED being groomed, he stood like a statue for a long time, didn't want it to end.  This morning I went in his pen more than once and every time he ran over to the gate and leaned up against it so I couldn't get it open.  Guess he thought that would make more grooming happen....!! 

Snooky, one of the 4 permanent indoor  cats got out last Friday.  He was born feral and has never really been domesticated, although he's lived in the house for about 10 years.  He's gotten out a few times before and after 3 or 4 days we could usually get him in.  So far this time, he will come on the porch, maybe look inside, but not come in.  I think Julius and Smoky the 2 indoor/outdoor cats have taken him under their wings and are showing him how it is to be an outdoor cat.  I worry about coyotes, although they don't spend much time on the property because of the donkeys.  

The last few days we've had a professional photographer here.  He was here all day and said there was too much to photograph, so he came back a couple more times, even with a drone.  He's shared hundreds of pictures with us.  I'll share a link to his blog:  Roger Thompson Photo 

 As of yesterday everyone is now wearing a fly mask except BlackJack.  His face is so fuzzy, flies usually leave him alone.

This is the latest we've ever gone without putting masks on.  Usually by the end of March the flies are getting bad.  Hopefully between the fly masks, the fly traps and the fly predators, we will be able to keep ahead of them.  First day out, Boaz and LaRoy both lost their masks, but we found them.  That doesn't always happen, some masks we don't find for months and some we never find, have no idea where they go.    


Thursday, May 06, 2021


 Seems like there is always something going on around here. We never get caught up, consequently there's always something that needs to be done.  

Lately we have been doing tours almost every day.  I think the Benson Visitors Center might have something to do with it.  They've always been real good about telling people  that we're here if they are looking for something to do in Benson.  

Last month they came out and did a video to put on their web-site.  Ever since then, we've been keeping pretty busy.  If you have a computer this link will take you to the video.

Lynn stopped off on the way back to Colorado to run a 250 mile race from just north of Phoenix to Flagstaff.  He started Monday morning a little before 6am, it is now Thursday afternoon and he's still running, he has about 80 miles to go to finish.  About half of the runners have fallen out, my question is...........only half...........LOL  Linda and some of their running friends are running with him to pace him and help keep his mind on finishing.  Before it's over some of them will have ran quite a few miles too.  

Linda and Lynn before the race started.


      Don't know if Linda took this picture before the race started Monday morning or                                     during the race.  It's really a neat picture.

Ruthie got over whatever she had and is back to eating and no temperature.  She got moved to the west side pens, in between Koshare and Tula.  She was kinda by herself over on the east side.  Since she's been moved she's been hanging with the "A" team, who's leader is Tula.  Yesterday she and Tula were grooming each other, so I guess she's found her "people".  

Monday we are going to pick up Justice.  He is a lonesome 20 year old gelding in a snake & critter rescue.  The wife died and the husband is overwhelmed and trying to downsize.  Since Justice is by himself, he really needs to be rehomed.  I'll share pictures when I get them, next week.  

Two of our guys hitched a ride from when they went out to California for the race last month.  They ended up going to Colorado with some of the Colorado people that came down for the race.  

 This is Oliver showing his new people that he is a team player when it comes to running.  He's really been a surprise, New Year's Day he won the 1st race he ever ran with a team member that had never ran with a donkey, although he had ran people races.  

Benji is also going into a racing family, they also pack and camp, so he'll have a job.  When we picked him and Jenny NKA (now known as) Nell, they were in a pen with Alpacas as neighbors on one side and horses on the other.  They didn't have a job, they were just there.  It's really good that they will both have jobs with people that appreciate them.

I took this picture before Benji left.  He and Arrow became good friends, size doesn't seem to make a difference when they are choosing who to hang with.  Arrow also went to Colorado, with Lynn and Linda, so they might see each other at some of the races this summer.  

Here is Big Gus soaking up all the attention he can get.  This young man and his Mom come out a groom quite often and his Mom happened to catch Gus enjoying being the center of attention.  

 Of course when they got ready to leave, Gus tried to get in their car.  One of these day he's going to figure it out.  He's already figured out if people leave a window open, he can stick his head in.  It takes two of us to remove it, he can make that head really heavy..........!!! LOL

 Susanne will be taking donkeys up to Flagstaff for the  Juniper Jog should be a lot of fun, Sunday the 23rd of May.   John and I will stay home and take care of donkeys.  Actually I will be racing Saturday night May 22rd, so John and I will revert to the way we use to race, when it was just the 2 of us.  We feed early, which of course the donkeys don't remember being fed when it gets to be 5pm.  Then they have to stay in their pens until we get home, which is almost as bad as not being fed at 5pm.  

But Jorja a neighbor that helps with the donkeys said she'd come over and let them out, so it won't be as bad as it could be......!! LOL  Of course they will expect Sunday morning breakfast to be served on time, especially since they will be fed early Saturday afternoon.  So we have to stagger out of bed on a few hours sleep to take care of their needs.......!! LOL  

When we were younger and foolish we use to race at a track that was 130 miles one way from our gate to theirs.  We would usually get home about 4am and sure enough at 7am the donkeys started letting us know they hadn't seen any movement in the house and we needed to get out there and take care of them....!!  LOL  

Here is a video Linda took of Harley and Jackson wrestling, don't think either of them won, but they did seem to be having fun.