Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Your Weekly Boo: nothing

I have nothing to report about Boo. Frankly, he was a big disappointment this weekend.

I mean, he continues to be precious and charming, but let's face it - he's turning out to be just your average baby donkey. Sure, he greets us at the car:

And tolerates the excessive attention:

But in terms of major developments? Nothing.
For now, you'll have to try and be impressed by the disproportionate length of his ears.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Local Flavor

Some of the best aspects of our new "neighborhood" are, well, the neighbors many of which happen to be churches. One church in particular not only provides a sanctuary and community gathering place but it also provides profound life tips, suggestions, reminders, guidance - FOR FREE. Better yet, new tips are posted by the church on a weekly basis and sometimes you get a two-fer. This week's message was a double whammy. Not only did it offer safe driving tips:
But it also clarified any potential communication obstacles:


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hey! We've got hay!

This is the sign that elicits a chuckle pretty much every time we drive by it on the way to the land (yes, we're that lame). This is an appropriate intro for this next installment where I'll take you through the fun that is getting hay to feed our mini-herd.

1) Notice the existing bale of hay is looking pretty non-existent
2) curse a few times at having to buy more hay

3) look on Craigslist to see how high the prices of hay have climbed since our last purchase (we're in the middle of one of the worst droughts since 1950 or something, so we're up to about $60 per round bale)

4) curse a few times at having to buy more EXPENSIVE hay

5) borrow my dad's tahoe to go pick up the hay (my fun-loving, outdoorsy Element is kind of a weenie when it comes to hauling anything heavy)

6) load up a few bales of hay from a local seller (who actually drives all over Texas collecting bales of hay because they are getting harder to find and in more demand)

7) unload aforementioned bales of hay in as inefficient manner as possible so I have more seat time on Bambi

8) sit and watch the mini-herd enjoy their new meal(s)

Now I'll try to preemptively answer some hay questions you may have:

Q: How long does a bale of hay feed your mini-herd?
A: Good question. In my vast experience (3 months worth) with this mini-herd, a round bale lasts about a month. I'm hopeful that the spring will bring other sources of nourishment so the little guys and girls will not rely on the hay as much.

Q: What does a round bale of hay weigh?
A: Another good question. My guesstimate is about 1000lbs, give or take a couple hundred pounds. This is based on some Internet research and the fact that Bambi is supposed to be able to lift up to about 1000lbs. She struggles with these bales, so I think I'm right at her limit.

Q: I want the 3 minutes of my life back that I wasted reading this post about dead grass.
A: That's not a question.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

True story.

Today was just your average day. Rolled out of bed a little too late, fed dogs, walked past bed and contemplated crawling back in, dug through the closet for something only moderately wrinkled, ate cereal while reading…er….The Economist, fell asleep behind wheel of car in traffic, sat behind computer for 8 hours while daydreaming about the weekend. Sound familiar? The only difference today was that it was going to end with a quick trip out to the land since Jer’s visit yesterday revealed a lack of cows. Of course, I have several questions about why exactly he didn’t, you know, try to find them, but I think it has something to do with a morbid fear of snakes that kept him from running around the place without me there to protect him. In which case, I’m flattered. Anyhow, it was that kind of day where you just really want to get to the end part. On the drive over, Jer called with good news and bad news, the good news being that he had driven to the land with a cooler of beer for a surprise happy hour. The bad news was that he was on the land and staring at Matilda, who was standing on the wrong side of the fence, staring back. And no, Seamus and Rooney were nowhere in sight.

It was at this point that I looked down at my heels and business clothes, grateful at least for the rubber boots I’d stuffed in my trunk, knowing that it was no longer going to be an average day.

I was greeted at the gate by a mournful Matilda who mooed for the first time, and a second, and third (fourth and fifth) time. She clearly was missing her smelly companions. Jeremy had already lured her back onto the property and reported no visibly broken fencing. I tossed some feed into a bucket and ran along the perimeter scanning the forest for two pudgy, fuzzy, tiny cows. As we neared a neighboring pasture Jer shrieked and pointed at two dots in the distance. Ten acres away and separated by a sturdy enough fence grazed our two missing cows completely oblivious to their surroundings.

After that, things get fuzzy. I vaguely recall being catapulted over a rusty barbed wire fence by an enthusiastic Jeremy, only to have my favorite pants catch on a barb and luckily slow my fall onto the other side. Then there was the careful approach to the cows with my bucket on the neighbor’s property, who I sincerely hope were watching. There’s a faint memory of then catapulting myself back over the fence, catching the pants again, yet not slowing my fall onto the other side, followed by a slobbering cow-turned-graceful-jumping-pony who easily sailed over the barbed wire. ONE DOWN! I righted myself, and quickly turned to lure Rooney back over, assuming that jumping was how he’d gotten there in the first place. Wrong. Oh my, was I ever wrong. Rooney made several attempts to get to me and my bucket of feed, but it only amounted to a few pathetic hops, a squeaky “mmoooewoooo,” a burp, and then cud chewing. Meanwhile Seamus, who had safely landed on the correct side of the fence, was butting his head against my thigh apparently attempting to annoy the crap out of me. It was at this point that I realized Jeremy had disappeared but had now returned and was jogging through the woods holding what appeared to be a towel and the flooring of my trunk. MacGyver in action! He breathlessly explained that he had “brought a towel and the floor of the Honda’s trunk to help get Rooney over the fence.” Sigh. Thinking on our toes is not either of our strong suits, and that’s all I’ll say about that. Rooney chose this moment to trot after a butterfly and Seamus followed him by running through…..a gaping hole in the fence that we completely missed – back onto the neighbor’s property. This story ends (yes, it DOES end) with a more successful attempt on my part to lure Rooney back onto our land with a creative army crawl/rolling maneuver through the hole whilst holding the precious feed bucket. Seamus sailed back over the fence. I’m not sure what we looked like heading out of the forest today – two people wearing a mixture of business clothes and farm clothes, dirt and rust on my face and bottom, Jeremy holding towels and a car’s flooring, two cows trotting happily behind.
But I do know one thing. We did have our hilltop happy hour around the hay ring, and the beer was delicious.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ch ch ch ch changes..

In case you haven't read the beginning of this riveting story, it is important to understand that the land was once......completely trashed. That is to say, when we first came to see the property we had to squint pretty hard and use lots of imagination to actually consider buying it since it was, at that time, kind of a dump. But this was no ordinary dump. This was where miscellaneous bathroom related appliances had gone to die (along with a circa 1984 taxicab). As we walked the land, the mysterious bathroom objects just kept appearing in the strangest places. There was the toilet in the creek bed, the upturned sink under the tree, bathtub next to the pond and, of course, the innovative Bathtub Garden (which remains and is within pleasant viewing distance from the woods! Yay!). To say that we were relieved to have these objects removed, is an understatement. Which is why it's ironic that my cows now eat out of this:

Is ironic the wrong word here? In case you weren't clear on what exactly it is they're using as a trough.....

You see, the land has changed me. When my friendly neighbor stopped by and offered a solid cast iron tub to use for the animals, I didn't shudder and ask why, WHY?!? would I want you to put a bathtub BACK on the land?? Rather, I paused, reflected on the cost of a real animal trough, considered my options, kicked the bathtub with my boot, decided it was quite sturdy, appreciated the offer and said that heck yes I would like it as a trough! My, my how things have changed.

But then again, this time last year, if I'd been asked whether I would buy a cow, I would've said why, WHY?!? would I buy a cow?

Your Weekly Boo

Big changes are happening around the farm. I don't know if it was my post last week, or that it's spring, or maybe just because he's developed some social skills - but the tide has turned for Boo.

It probably has something to do with the fact that he's almost as tall as the cows and isn't covered in fuzzy tufts of baby hair. This apparently commands respect in the world of livestock.

Regardless of why it happened, it's obvious that Boo is suddenly the cool kid on campus.

It's also obvious that he still needs another baby donkey around. Because, you know, he might not be popular with the cows forever.

One of These Things....

Is not like the other.

We were pretty sure that whoever laid this egg didn't survive the ordeal, but everyone is present and accounted for.

And the ridiculous monster egg,
was delicious.

Monday, March 9, 2009

At Capacity

Everywhere in my life are animals. They dictate what time I wake up in the morning and slowly have taken up more room in the monthly budget. I factor my animals into my social life - will I have enough time in a day to play fetch with the dogs, give the cats a few scratches, toss out scraps to the chickens? And the livestock are a completely different headache. Normally, people put them out to pasture with some water and hay and call it a day. But I had to go and turn them into pets. Although I'm pretty sure they don't miss me, I feel obligated to twice weekly visits because they're my responsiblity, because I want them to be tame, and because they are freaking adorable. So now my weekends are tailored around the amount of time I can spend at the land and I've become more concerned about quality time with the various pets, than with friends. So that is IT. No more animals.

Winston's forlorn expressions coerce us into bringing him along to, wherever we are headed, despite the inconvenience.

Seamus licked my hand right after this photo was taken. And it was gross.

The chickens quickly took over our carefully planned compost pile

(I have absolutely no complaints with Rooney.)


Enough is enough and luckily, I know when to say when..........

Unfortunately, however, it is spring which means that craigslist is brimming with assorted baby farm animals. And for the first time, I actually have a place to put them (should they accidentally find their way into my possession). Speaking of accidents, today I found these and these. Sigh. What can I say, this is beyond my control. I'll try to be stronger next spring. For now, I need to figure out what exactly it is that pigs and sheep eat.

Your Weekly Boo

I'm pretty sure that Boo is lonely. I've seen him try to interact with the cows which usually ends in a head butting match that he always loses. His grumpy mom, Chula, is weaning him and this involves Boo getting kicked at. A lot. He perks right up when the dogs join us at the land and is trying very hard to befriend my little dog LuLu. However, when you're only 25 lbs, a donkey trotting towards you with huge ears perked all the way up, is terrifying. Usually, she dives under the car before he can even introduce himself. So the fact is, the little guy has no buddies. And for the record, I am not trying to mount an argument in favor of getting another baby donkey. I'm just stating the facts.
Here he is. Completely ignored.

And eating hay. Alone.

Only his reflection for company.

It's obvious what must be done. Through your tears, please drop a line to Jeremy, stating exactly why you believe it's necessary to get another baby donkey for Boo. For BOO. Not for me, just so we're clear. And thank you.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Your Weekly Boo - in a Tostitos commercial

Since Jenna is studying tonight (believe it or not), the task of keeping our reader (singular) up to speed on Boo's development was delegated to me. Because I am not as creative as Jenna, I'll keep the post short and link to a long video instead. And don't worry, these Tostitos are specially formulated for the sensitive donkey digestive systems.