A week on the ranch (May 11 - May 17, 2009) - Blogs - Frugal Village Forums
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A week on the ranch (May 11 - May 17, 2009)

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by , 05-18-2009 at 09:59 AM (995 Views)
It was a disappointing week at work, mostly because I was so busy, but a lot of what I put into motion didn't give me the results I had hoped for. Several meetings with people we had really wanted to talk with, only to have them be untruthful. One huge project that I started, then handed to another team, because we decided that my team had to concentrate on something else, only to learn, at the end of it all, that the project didn't get done and has now landed back into our laps.

As the saying goes, life imitates work, or something like that. The ranch seemed to also be missing a beat in its normal symmetry. After a week of forcing meds down Rudy the Rooster, I had to concede that he wasn't getting better, and I put a call in to my avian vet. I am hoping it is not something more serious than an infection that needs stronger meds. Chewy the Dog also seems to have a hitch in his giddy-up, and I think it might be the burrs he got into a month or so back. He is a Chow Chow, so he has very thick fur. I'm thinking some of those burrs (and he had hundreds on him) got down into his undercoat and are sticking him. So there will be a call to the groomer.

The hardest thing that happened this week was that Riley the Dog killed a fox. I keep telling myself that she was after the chickens, but a part of me wonders if she wasn't just coming in to get a drink of water at the ground bird bath I keep filled. I have an area that I call the "residential" area, because dogs, goats, and donkeys aren't allowed. The chickens hang out there, and that is where the bird feeders and such are. Quails raise their babies there. Turkeys wander in and eat my chicken feed. Lately, I have been letting the dogs out into the "residential" area for about half an hour at night to dissuade ground squirrels. On Friday, they were barking at something, but I didn't see anything, so I let them out, and that was when I saw a small shape dart off, dogs in pursuit. I thought it was the cat. I called the dogs off, and they both came back, so I thought that was the end of it. Until I heard the chickens going crazy. Running out to the coop in the dark, yelling Riley's name (because whenever there is a commotion, there is a 99% chance he is in the middle of it), thinking he had decided to kill the chickens...until I see Riley running back to me, and the small dark shape in the driveway. I got there just as she died, gasping one last time. She was perfect and beautiful, and had Riley not killed her, she probably would have picked off my chicks one at a time. But what if, that night, she had just come in for a drink of water? Riley and Chewy are again banned from the residential area. I'd rather live with the ground squirrels than the guilt that I promised the wildlife an asylum, then set the wolves to run in it.

The garden beds, despite my best efforts, seem to be just sitting there. I thought maybe it was my imagination, but then a friend of mine came over and made a comment much to the effect of, "Hey, your plants are just sitting there," so I know it is not just me. I have been handwatering, and I wonder if I just am not giving them enough water. Consequently, I ran out last night and bought about $150 worth of irrigation supplies, and worked into the darkness to set it up. Keeping my fingers crossed.

With the hot weather and the country comes rattlesnakes. Spotted my first one (or rather, Riley did) on Saturday night, in the dogs' run, trying to get to a cool spot under the silver fleece vine. Only problem is, that is also where the dogs go to cool off. Happily, the dogs know better than to get near a rattler, so they just bark their heads off until I come running, and they let me take all the risk.

Rattler and I danced for a while, he with his fangs and me with my hoe. (No, I wasn't trying to chop his head off.) Finally, he decided the shade wasn't worth the noise and bother, and he slithered off in a huff.

Sunday was a triple-digit HOT, HOT, HOT day. I skulked off to the craft store, where I spent the entire day in the air-conditioning. When I got home, the house was still hot, but not miserably so, and the parrots were in their air-conditioned room, yelling for dinner. I went upstairs, to the bedroom in which I normally sleep, and found that it had gotten hot enough to kill my poinsettia from Christmas. It literally baked the poor thing. I slept on the couch downstairs that night!

So thus ends another week on the ranch. Not the best week we've had. Not the worst, but nearer to that end of the spectrum than the former. Picking myself up, shaking myself off, and starting off this week with as much optimism as I can muster!!

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Updated 05-18-2009 at 06:36 PM by madhen

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  1. Debbie-cat's Avatar
    Sorry you had a bad week at work.

    I hope Rudy and Chewy get better soon and neither one has a serious problem.

    It must have been difficult to watch the little fox die right in front of your eyes. I probably would have burst into tears! Even though you knew she would have taken your chicks..it is still horrible to see a living creature pass on.

    I hope your irrigation system works well for you and you have an abundance of produce!

    I can picture you dancing with the rattler....you can keep them though...too scary for me!

    This week will definitely be better for you as you faced head on all the disappointing/bad/sad stuff last week. So this will be a week of elated/good/happy stuff for you!
  2. gapeach's Avatar
    Madhen you are a brave and compassionate woman!! Brave in the fact that you would fight off a rattlesnake. I used to live in San Diego and sometimes the rattlers would come up to the front door! You have such compassion for animals. I wish more people did.
  3. IndigoMom's Avatar
    Oh, I hope you have a much better week this week! I would have mixed feelings about the fox as well...no doubt Riley saved your chickens though.
  4. fixer's Avatar
    I enjoy seeing foxes around. Then again, I don't have chickens. Riley did his job as he saw it.