Sunday, October 04, 2015

Wild hogs!

Well, I let Trixie dog out this morning, and heard her barking while I prepared Heed's food and medicine. When I went out to go check on the garden, I looked to see what Trixie was barking at, and lo and behold - Giant mama hog, right in the front yard, with fifteen or so babies bouncing along behind her.

Now, Trixie wasn't on a leash, since it was daytime and the worst we've seen in the morning is the occasional bunny for her to chase. I yelled at her to come inside, but of course she ignored me. I know she was trying to protect me, but still. Irksome. She went down to the mowline, and barked her food head off, while mama and the piglets (one of which was white with black spots, and particularly adorable) went from the woods near the road to the woods in the pasture, which means we've got a hog-sized hole in the fence somewhere in that area.

Once they were out of sight, Trixie happily used the bathroom and pranced up to me, practically glowing with pride. Hadn't she barked so good? Hadn't she protected me so well? Never mind the fact that she hadn't listened, wasn't she the best dog ever?

I got her happy ass inside fast.

Anyone want to come hunt some hogs?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Der Farmenlifen

Well, things are all sorts of new around here now. It's been a few years since I posted here, clearly, and many things have changed since then. Gamerboy and I are now living on his family's ranch, where we're taking care of his parents as well as 39 head of cattle, 1 dog, and our six cats.

Yes, we kept Nips, the once-bitey little grey kitten from the old apartment complex. It turns out she'd broken her arm at some point, and doesn't like having it handled, which is why she bit me back in the day. She also dislocated the wrist of that same arm, which prompted an x-ray, which is how we found out about the old fracture, and how we found out that the radius of that arm isn't going to do any more growing, despite the ulna (and the rest of her) growing normally. She ended up having a curved forearm, which we sometimes call her Popeye Arm, but she gets about just fine with it, and she's not too big so there's not a lot of weight getting put on it. She's socialized up very nicely, and bonded strongly with Landis, who has also calmed down over the years and is much less bitey his own self.

So, we live on a farm now, as I said. Gamerboy is the official Ranch Manager, and I'm looking for outside work, to help bring in some money. I've also cleared out a few of FIL's old garden beds, and I'm trying to grow some vegetables in them. We've set up a fairly basic compost pile, cleared a few trees that were in the way (Gamerboy is in love with his electric chainsaw, let me tell you), and are planning to put in a bunch more veggie beds, as well as fence off some currently-unused land and get set up for goats and alpacas.

(Seriously, it blows my mind how EASY of a sell alpacas were! The fact that they can live with the goats, and their fleeces can be sold every year, makes them a good investment without a lot of extra work. You know, once we have things set up for the goats. Which we don't yet. But we will.)

(Also, yes, I have already called permanent dibs on all cria fleeces forever. I may choose to sell or gift some later on down the line, who knows, but still. Dibs forever.)

We've only moved down here this summer, so we've been here maybe two months now, and we're still getting settled in. Gamerboy and I purged a lot of our belongings in the move down here, but there's always more to do, and we're starting to work on integrating our things with the inlawls' things, and reducing the amount of both.

Given the crazy-large amount of just everything on the ranch, I've also started dipping my toe into natural dyeing. This was mostly prompted by finding out that there are black walnut trees out by the creek, and cochineal bugs on some of the prickly pear plants out in the pasture. There are even some of those (just a tiny amount, but some!) up by the house!

Most of the animals are doing great right now. We have one yearling bull who probably got stuck with thorns or spines or who-knows-what, and got a pair of abscesses on either side of his jaw, which grew to the point where eating and breathing are difficult, and he'd been hiding from us long enough to get seriously thin. We managed to pen him up and get him to the vet, who lanced the abscesses and gave him some medicine, and we're keeping him in the pens for now while we keep an eye on him, and hope that he gets better.

Heed gave us a hell of a scare recently, too. He was diagnosed with diabetes about a month ago, and put on insulin, and then the day before yesterday he had a serious blood sugar crash. He was shaking, and lost control of his legs and his bowels, and at one point he seized. We rubbed honey on his gums to raise his blood sugar, and got him to a local vet as quickly as we could, while calling his regular vet (Gamerboy's Aunt Awesomevet) on the way. He's had his dosage cut back from 5 units twice a day to 2 units twice a day, and he's doing a lot better now. He's still going back to Aunt Awesomevet  next tuesday, so she can keep an eye on him for a couple of days, but we're feeling hopeful.

So all in all, there have been a lot of changes, but things are doing good. I'm going to try and update this thing more regularly, which I know I always say, but hey. Hope springs eternal.