Saturday, February 04, 2006

The # 1 Thing you need on a Ranch?

Well I can say the first and only thing would be a very large sense of HUMOR....You can never have enough of it...If you can not laugh at yourself...Well you just might reconsider that living on a farm is not for you.......It is called a funny farm for good reason. You can never predict what will, has or could happen.....Being prepared with your humor will keep you closer to sanity. Yes, there are sad times as well as chores no one would ever want to do....They are done because the cost is little compared to the benefits...Today's funny would be me going to feed the horses this morning....I have to snicker that with the winds blowing at 70 MPH it has assisted me in several ways, but has hindered others....I do not need to sweep the feed up because it is now wedged against the carport back door....The Alpacas are wet and buckling down under a tree and trying to snatch feed while it flies by them...I hull up the three flakes of feed on my right shoulder and balance it against my head. I am half way to the gate and a gust of wind picks half the feed up and away from my grip...I am forced to decide to hold onto what is left and retrieve the wayward feed later or try to pick it up and keep what I have intact..Both choices? Alright feed first retrieve in a moment... I dump my load into the feed buckets...Something out of the Wizard of Oz flies past me the horses spook and I stand motionless in the wind while the horse swirl around me...The lost feed is now air born and appears as if falling from the sky....The horses try to catch the drifting feed as if it is a game....I go through the pastures picking up yet more things that we do not own but are now located here....The barn makes noises that are out of a horror film and the cats are on my heels to let them in. I find the poor old Buluga dog pacing in and out of the bedroom....The small trees across the street are now for the most part down....The news informs me that there are massive power outages. Clearly not here yet...We are prepared for such a thing.... But it will not make any differance as today I will be out with the fence guy trying to finish the long overdue job... We must get the Alpacas moved to the larger pasture as they are in a pen that is almost a total lost and will have to recover somehow. Yes, with the wind is the driving rains.....Over and out to the funny farm work....

3:45 AM

Why yes by God it is 3:45 am. What in heaven's name am I doing up? What do I think can be done at this hour about the house. I had to make some hot cereal while I wait for the coffee. I'd anything to clawl into bed and just sleep a few more hours. But at last I can not............

Friday, February 03, 2006

While it's not raining.

Well now the fact that it is NOT raining is news enough on it's own, despite the high wind warning and storm warning for this evening. So I in my calm thinking world (hahaha) I traipse outside in my rubber boots and head band, no jacket as the job that I am going to try to do is hard work and it is only a matter of a few minutes before I will break out in a sweat. Muck bucket and pitch fork in tow. Well the boys greet me with a dash to the gate only to turn their backs on me as I do not have their beloved grain. They retreat to the evergreens tree to continue on with the mock combat, nipping at each others heels and necks. Well I am trying to keep my balance in the muck and I do fine for the first hour and several trips to the compost pile. This is at the very moment my mind is thinking well this is better than last week....Be careful what you say... Down I go right into the huge pile I just had domed up and was beginning to put into the muck cart...The second best way to pick alpaca pooh is to land in will and does stick to everything it comes in contact with once it is rained on for more than a few hours... I get to the door closest to the washer only to find it locked... What was I thinking.. Up to the kitchen door where I try to get boots off ( they too are covered) Now what am I to do...Slip in door peel off clothes and toss them into car port? Try to get to a bathrobe? This a dilemma to be sure..Okay out flies the sad grimy boots....Shit.... Now I'm in for it how do I get myself cleaned up....Nothing I have on is unscathed and Thomas wants in. I try to stop him but it is too late he has to rolled in the pile of clothes that I have peeled off, I grab him by the neck and we are off. I start the shower that he loves to play in after your out.... We have never tried to wash either cat.... But necessity rules....We are now engaged in a wet combat of our own...Serves him right for picking on the smaller and weaker slinky....I know that Slinky is right outside the bathroom door with Buluga....I know that Slinky is laughing and rolling in pure joy that revenge has finally come to Thomas....How am I going to dry this beast? Damn! All the towels but one are either in washer or soaking up the puddle downstairs....I take the only dry clean towel available and dry him off before he escapes. I step out of shower only to step in the pile of dirty clothes, of course. I am now wet with a wet cat hair covered towel as well as squishy Alpaca pooh between my fairly clean toes which I now need to shower myself....Thank God for terry bathrobes...JOHN'S!!!! Heck he's not home, he wont need as bad as I do today....I will when he comes home wait for his turn on the Alpaca pooh slip and slid rodeo at the Halleyville Ranch....
 Posted by Picasa

Why We Can't Resist

If you ever wondered about why
Alpacas can grab your heart
this photo of Little Guy will!!!
Our youngest baby.

Farm & friends

Prom laying down after three weeks of trying.

Last night shortly after 4:30 I managed not to feel guilty about the rain...Why you ask? Well it stopped raining for a few moments and I was able to go get a few fresh photos...I have been trying to get a 1200 pound horse to lay dawn on command...This in it self is a huge test of patience and a great deal of time.. Prom and Playboy being the two students who resist more so than the lovely and easy Jezzie. They finally GOT it and even stayed down long enough so that I might be able to get a photo or two..John will not believe this other than if the photos appear here. Not that he would not think me able to train them...It is more like he knows the said horses and their attitudes the resist at all cost twins. And no food pay off training takes far longer...

The farm babies got fed a few moments before two friends came out for dinner....Shrimp cocktail, chicken piccata, wine and bread, for the guest not the animals.. We all had a good time the wine and cookies that the girls brought , well let say that the cookies are gone and they tasted fab in my coffee at 4:30 this morning. Alright maybe even better than that....

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Yes that's right folks I am selling alpaca pooh....You will be shaking your head at this but the fact is that people are paying me 6 $ per 5# bag....Organic & odor free..

Did I mention that the alpacas are having a good time watching me collect the stuff in one gallon freezer bags... Who knows what they maybe thinking....I am assuming their conversations go something like this....

Hey Charlie Brown....Yeah Buster what's up? Breakfast okay? Yeah...That chick is back with those crazy rubber boots and bags again...Hey Papo do you have any idea what the hell she's doing? Heck no everytime she comes in, it is food, water or bags.... But boy she sure cleans those piles we leave...Why does she want it? Little Guy butts in hey guys what's up? Do you think she has some grain? No she has bag's again....Well damn give me a shout when she comes back with that tray. Do you think she'll fall again? We can only hope,that was pretty funny!

Hey you naughty boys stop laughing already, this here is black Halleyville gold....

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How to go from bad to worst in 10 hours

I should have known that the day would be an hourly decline from the moment that I went out to feed the menagerie in the driving rain with my sweat pants, sweatshirt, rubber boots and no coat or headband....That in itself was not the first bad thing it was when I tried to open the door to the kitchen. LOCKED! DAMN! Around to the front door....LOCKED! DAMN! Driving rain, no coat..DAMN! Around to the back and down the stairs to the basement door...DAMN! LOCKED!!!! Forgot that we left key in truck for half an hour while trying to find spare key that I forgot to put back after shoving it in my coat pocket, yes the one I decided not to wear...Alright key in truck has house key on it.....Alright in....DAMN it is 7:45am I still have to find dog, feed cats, take a shower and pack school books. Did I mention that I had to do this in a matter of 20 minutes? DAMN! Alright now the driving rain, the lunatics behind the wheel while trying to dodge other lunatics who are speeding, driving without lights, drinking coffee and talking on the cell phone.... YES, all at the same time and driving the posted 70mph....Alright I have had just ONE CUP OF JAVA....Me the coffee freak without a real fix....Bad bad bad..I know off the exit and just a few blocks away the mocha stand will save me from certain anxiety. How could I have left without a to go cup of Joe? DAMN! So now I wait behind a blue sports car full of three people who can not or will not order and move along...9 minutes before class two blocks away and no caffeine..DAMN! Heaven is a few feet away and I pull up and order my beloved mocha breve. Yes, triple shot....One for the one I did not get earlier and two because I will be in class until 4pm...Class is good, cookies from a classmate, good...Speakers very good....My home work, missing....BAD....DAMN! Knowing that the damage already done in the sacrifice pasture may take years to recover.....VERY BAD.........DAMN! Finding out why the Alpacas do not eat the very expensive Timothy completely.. GOOD...or/and BAD!..I am now forced to stop at the local feed store and get a couple of bales of orchard grass..Bad..Did I mention that the truck is still dead and I take the 4runner to school? And that I can get only 2 bales into the back of it? BAD...The drive leaving school is 10 times worse than the AM commute.... DAMN!!! I am trying to drive and talk to John...OKAY I KNOW ...........STUPID GIRL...HUNG UP !!!!I get feed get back on I-5 and try to negotiate the exit home.. It is well on it's way to darkness and I dash out through the rain to feed before dark. I get that done and run inside to let Buluga and the cats out...I stand out side and watch for a few moments and try to go back in...Yes folks you guessed it.. I locked myself out...AGAIN...SOMEDAY...TWICE....DAMN! Thank God I have not gotten my purse out of the 4runner yet...I go down stars to get a frozen dinner out of freezer and step into a large puddle of water going to and from I can only guess...DAMN!!!! All the towels are aready pretty wet and the good towels are in dryer...yep the are now soaking up puddle...Back upstairs pop dinner in micro...Center is still frozen after 6 minutes....DAMN! Buluga eats all her dinner and we retire to the living room..Power goes out for several minutes...DAMN!... SLEEP CALLS TO ME AT LAST......... The photo above always makes me smile. Alpacas,Charlie Brown, Buster Brown and Papo...Two horses in back are Playboy and Prom....

From Poor Richard's Almanack (1746)

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time: for that's the stuff life is made of."

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The real world....goosed by a moose!

The rain mainly falls in Washington

HALLEYVILLE: January 2006

Is it possible that the rain may never stop? The news this morning screaming we will break records. This is not news to all that live here.I can not help that the poor alpacas are soaked and the fleece may be compromised a bit. There is nothing worse than the pathetic sight of a wet alpaca, we do have to laugh at this point as we can do nothing else. My morning went like this, 1st the coffee freak had her early morning fix prior to John's call at 5:45 am. Buluga and Thomas curl up together on the new " BO BED " and watch the news with me, I can not listen much more to the headlines of rain so off it goes. The second cup of java is better than the first and I plan the day around, you guessed it the rain. Clean kitchen unload dishes while still dark. I can hear the rain pounding away and dread the feeding of all the babies as I will once again be in the muck with my very charming rubber muckers. I wonder if I can find some that are cheery or at least fun, ones with alligators on them like the little kids wear would be swell. Maybe I should invest in a bright yellow rain slicker too....Okay now back to the morning, after trying to get to the pot for a 3rd cup, Thomas under my feet wants the feed bowl absolutely level...He is a true food pig. Slinky is in bed and I am forced to make the bed over him. Yap, still raining. I cloth myself without much regard as I know that my cloths will be soaked the moment I go out to feed. Headband, check..Coat, check...... Gloves, check...Rubber boring boots, check...Raining, check....All is good and very wet I balance myself the best I can and deliver the feed to the sad eyes that glare at me through their soaked fleece that surrounds the fragile head of the Alpacas.....Poor babies. Now to the round pen to feed the horses, they all greet me and I can see that they tried dearly to keep dry, an impossible attempt in this foul crud. I can not bear to look into their eyes as they plead to make it all stop. Back to the house to try to dry myself off...Like everyday for the last 9 weeks.....At least the washer and dryer work very. And so I know can eat breakfast at last.............

Monday, January 30, 2006



Alright how does one know that they are a coffee freak? I ask that because today while unloading some frozen food into the freezer I found, yes folks a total of 8#of coffee beans all stacked rather neatly in the freezer. Is this normal? I go through my mind of all the freezers I've come across in the last 42 years of life and realize that I have not seen nor known anyone with that amount of coffee in their freezer. I try to justify this to myself somehow I can not. These 8#'s are all the same bean, the same brand not one difference in taste or quality....Do I think that somehow Costco will run out of coffee or that I may never return to the store. Will someone please inform me of the limit one should have. I know that I am saving any poor person from experiencing me without the coffee IV drip coffee cup but really wouldn't two 2# bags be enough? Do you think that I alone will last if the electricity goes out? Believe it or not kids, I too have a plan for this possible tragedy. I after all did make dinner on Christmas after the power was out for ten hours. Water on the other hand was a bigger challenge since the pump runs off of electricity from the well to the house to the pastures......No water for anything...Thank God we have a 1000 gallon stock tank full of koi in the barn if we really ran into trouble....I know that the barn should house the horses, alpacas, goats and barn cats but the reality is that John wanted to keep the koi from our other house....And now they are in the barn till spring...BUT WAIT isn't that when we are moving? Yes in deed it is. At least this time I will not be in chest waiters trying to "WRANGE KOI" like the last move. A comedy the new owners enjoyed watching for a grulling 7 hours....This was done while my dear husband went to work....Oh did I mention it was raining? At least I did not have to fall into the koi pond to get wet.

Now I'm going to mention one more time about the driving rain, yes it is still raining while I met with the fence guy today to make a plan to get the now three week long fencing adventure to a close before I go insane. We have no intention of trying to finish in the driving rain during John very short visits home.



How is it that the ground is so wet that my rubber boots have been on the boot dryer more than I care to think about. I see no reason for me to do a thing like pick up after alpacas as I know that it is a slip and slid that no one with any sense would attempt to. I am not alone in this hate of rain at this point.....The wet look is not in yet everyone in the greater Seattle area are sporting it....Begrudgingly...The grey the wet hiding inside does not work..Who the hell turns lights on at this hour of the day......Retreating to movies and a blanket seems to be a good idea at first, until you realize that even the heavy down comforter is little comfort....Make it stop already.....Will zoloft help with rain dreary syndrome? Has Pfizer studied it...They could make a fortune here in the grey wet lands of the pacific northwest....Raindrops keep falling on the head....Six pairs of wet boots 5 very wet jackets all in two days...This HAS to be a record......
okay right after I feed I'll take the soap out with me and just take a quick shower while I'm at it...Yes I'll find a dry towel.

How the west was wet

  • There are still times,like the last 45 days when you have to wonder why in the world anyone would live here...........YES, DAMN IT I AM SPEAKING OF THAT FOUR LETTER WORD AGAIN!RAIN and even more to come....IT IS JUST NOT YUCKKIE it is causing rather large problems in the yard, or should we now just call the south east corner LAKE HALLEY. I of Halleyville am now distraught over the mildew that I am certain will start to appear on the horses and alpacas. John has promised that we will be moving starting in late spring back to the dry home we left just over a year ago. If we just had thought that the cruel world would pour up on us the wet reality. I can think of few things that would make us stay.In fact at this moment I can think of absolutely nothing that would keep us here. Don't get me wrong, but I can think of many reasons that we can not stay as well as a dozen reason to go back home.
    1) Rain, dah
  • 2) Traffic, I-5 at 20 mph
    3) Wetlands
    4) Housing developments
    5) People who can't help speed past our house
    6) lack of sunshine
    7) wearing hip gaiters to feed horses
    8) web feet don't fit into cowboy boots
    9) because john is miserable
    10) because Temera loves him
    11) mold and mildew on saddles
    12) boot dryers are mandatory
    13) wet slimy mice from fresh kills are hard to pick up
    14) because mud covered horses look awful

    Reasons to go to Wenatchee:

    1) horses & alpacas stay dry
    2) Sunshine
    3) Friends like Steve as well as many others
    4) Fresh air
    5) low traffic level 9 cars is a considered rush hour traffic
    6) feed for animals is half the price
    7) dust is easier to get off boots than mud
    8) you can BBQ all year long
    9) red peppers grow in your garden without a green house
    10) apricots and peaches to can and make jam like you've never tasted.
    11) snowman making from snow is easier that make rain ducks out of rain
    12) the taco shacks on the corners make the best quick stops for lunch
    13) people do not look at you funny when you have feed decorating your long main of hair
    14) cowboy boots are work boots not a fashion trend
    15) arthritis is far less painful
    16) saddles will not mold in the barn
    17)AG supply knows what irrigation parts are for
    18) PUD bills are 1/4 the cost
    19) you rarely heat the house in July
    20) dinner parties are informal and fun
    21) you can air dry delicates and coats outside 10 out of 12 month's
    22) when cats kill mice they are dry and you can toss them into trash
    23) you can brush horses clean
    24) painting the house you know will dry

    Things that will be missed:

    1) Del Fox Meats
    2) friends
    3) farm fresh veggies, best corn on the cob ever
    4) Eagles and Hawks

Okay know you know, we just gotta go!!!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Alright you all know we live out on a small farm. We see very few people and have met three folks total in the area. One reason for this is that the closest living beings are three cows that live across the street. This morning I go out to enjoy the quiet of the morning and drink my coffee and smoke a few cigarettes. I hear a faint noise and it gets a little louder. I check it out and it is the cows wondering down from the barn about eight acres away. This is not unusual in itself. Two milking cows and a Scottish Highlander Bull..All are rather friendly and I give them treats every now and again.....This morning the bull is not out there just the two girls, I say my greetings and wave they come to the edge of the fence and look my way......Then I watch one of them mount the other............I can only assume that one is blind or confused....And then I remember a day a few months back when this same girl mount the BULL....I suppose she is just taking herself serious about being the leader of the herd as the Scotty is way too gentle and sweet. He is so sweet in fact that he allows my to scrub his head with great force until he sighs in relief that he is loved and the center of the world for a few moments in time. I guess that my world is full of small amusements that I alone can enjoy and entertain my little mind with such diversions.
Sunday morning chores await.....Eggs Florentine for breakfast....

First person to break rule #1

Well it was only a matter of time before someone was going too break rule #1....Of course I never thought that person would be ME!!!!!! Yes I leave to go to the drug store and to pick up lunch for my visiting husband and myself. I therefore believe my husband will shut the gate after I drive away, something he does often at least a great deal of the time.Jezzie (our horse) is out as he is thinner then we like. He is happy to wonder around graze a bit get a good roll on the grass and generally get some PT in. Anyway about a half hour after leaving I get this stressed phone call from John stating that " you left the gate open and I can not find or see Jessie" MY REACTION IS "OH GOD HOW COULD I BE SO STUPID, HOW COULD I FORGET! Alright I am now in a panic that he may wonder up the street to check out the cows next door or across the street.....Jessie is found behind the shelters and is eating away happily without a care. I come home, hang my head in shame and beg forgiveness. RULE#1 is clearer than ever.....................Welcome to the club, Temera you are #3 on you very own idiot list......................