A week on the ranch (December 7 - December 13, 2009)
by, 12-14-2009 at 12:41 AM (2103 Views)
The week started with a snow storm that left me snowed in and without power for about a day and a half. Happily, a 4wd vehicle allowed me to escape my little snowy prison, but the roads were so dangerous, with fallen branches and crazy drivers, that I spent most of the first part of the week hiding out, surviving with the help of a lot of firewood and plenty of snow to melt to use for water. The animals suffered more than I did, as they had no heat lamps to keep them warm. The dogs came up in the house with me, so they could share in the warmth of the woodstove, and I rigged up a barrier so I could keep the parrotsí room door open without worrying about the dogs getting in there, so the parrots and bunnies had a little warmth as well. I set up propane heaters in the finchesí room, which took the edge off, as well. But the donkeys, goats, and chickens had to just muddle through as best they could. I made sure they had dry places to rest and plenty of food, but I couldnít do much else for them.
I am kicking myself for not taking a page out of fixerís book and following his advice to stock up on disposable plates and utensils! When the only way you have to obtain hot water is to stock up the woodstove, then scoop enough snow to melt and use for water, washing dishes becomes a monumental task. On the shopping list this week: paper plates and plastic utensils!!
It was a week for birds! First, my little Gouldian hen is still under the weather, and she is still in a quarantine cage. I am hoping it is just her recovery from air sac mites, but she is also an older hen (very old for a finch), so it might just be her time. If so, she is in a quiet and comfortable cage, with easy reach to food and water, and no competition while still being within sight and hearing of her flight cage community. Second, I had a zebra finch hen also go fluffy on me this week. Happily, after a couple of days in quarantine, and on Baytril, she bounced back, an she is back with her buddies now, seeming quite healthy and perky. Third, Iíve got baby budgies!! I finally got a peek into the nest box, and Daisy has two chubby little babies in there! Daisy is a muted green/yellow budgie, and her mate is a standard (normal) green/yellow budgie, so it will be interesting to see what the babies look like. Right now, they are just fat and fuzzy. J Finally, the rescue organization called and asked me if I could foster a banded-tail pigeon for a week or so. So I have ďWalterĒ the pigeon in my bedroom now, and Iím trying to figure out what I can give him that will make him happy. The first thing Iím working on is his diet. The rescue provided a standard dove/pigeon mix, but I checked out the Cornell website, and it recommends fruit, pine nuts, acorns, and flowers, so Iíll be supplementing his seed.
It was also a week for some of my plants (and not so much for others). I have an orange tree that has travelled with me from home to home to home, and I was finally able to plant it when I moved up here. It has never given me fruit, although it teased me with blossoms a few times. Well, this year, BUMPER crop of mandarin oranges!!! It has been so long since I bought that tree, I had forgotten what kind of citrus it was! Very tasty and sweet harvest!
On the other hand, the winter snow killed off my tomato and pepper plants. When the piles of snow that used to be my plants finally melted, it left behind black and wilted lumps of soggy vegetation where by green and healthy plants used to stand. L
My Christmas cactus, however, is living up to its name and blooming like mad. It has both red and white blooms on it (or maybe it is just two plants), and it has reliably bloomed for Christmas ever since I first bought it, probably two decades ago. Love that plant!
My (fake) Christmas tree (speaking of plants, sort of) is still void of decoration. I finally found the lights for it, but none of them work, so I have to buy some new ones. Since EVERYONE knows that you donít put on ornaments until you put on lights, everything is in limbo until those lights go on. (Well, I did put the tree topper on.)
And dropping even deeper into the fake plant world, I discovered Facebook this week, and I have become a Farm Town addict! My real plants might be crushed and dead from a week of winter storms, but my virtual plants are growing and producing bumper crops!
Chewy, Riley, and Crash went in for their semi-annual spa day at the groomer. They all looked fantastic for about an hour, then they played in the rain, and that was that. I can brush out Riley and Crash, but you can only do so much with wet Chow fur.
Well, I am sure I forgot something, because the week felt REALLY full, but if I did, Iíll just edit this blog and add to the entry. But for now, it is late; I am tired; and tomorrow is a work day. Have a great night, and Iíll see you next week.