Sunday, April 05, 2020

A productive start to the week

Okay, the best-laid plans of getting you caught up on past Poppy pics got waylaid by a sunny Sunday's activities.

Rick had a couple mares to check for breeding readiness this morning, and asked if I wanted to go along. I didn't, really, homebody that I am, but given that Brian was still in bed and I know how much Rick likes me to ride with him, I put Poppy's harness on and off the three of us went.

Social butterfly that she is, Poppy was SO excited to go on her first veterinary calls. New places! New people! New dogs! New snacks (she wished; after a couple days of tummy trouble last week, I wasn't going to let her snarf down ANYthing)!
Did I say social butterfly? Social battering ram would be more accurate. She wants to jump on everyone; she jumped on that black lady labrador and got aggressively told off. Poppy yelped, but more from hurt feelings than injury. Off to the next call....

Wheen we got home, we rousted the teen out of bed (after 1:00 pm) and all got to work around the place. Brian and I mowed the lawn while Rick replaced the rotten boards on the deck, then Brian washed my car while Rick started the burn pile.
Blooms about to burst on that tree straight ahead
First ones!

After doing some household chores, I took Lance for a ride through the woods. There were lots of pretty things to be seen,
Oregon grape

That's a big-leaf maple in full bloom!

Feral cherry

Non-native, invasive Scotch broom

but I was hoping to spy my favorite wildflower. Finally, I found ONE just starting to unfurl, with several more buds-in-waiting.

I'll be back to see them again!

That's it for today from . . .

Saturday, April 04, 2020

I think the dog needs her own blog 😏

Seriously, folks; I have so many photos piling up in my "blog photos" folder that my laptop is in danger of exploding! Is taking more photos my coping mechanism in this time of social distancing???
Cats are generally good at social distancing

Or is the current crisis contributing to "writer's block" while the usual number of photos pile up like blowing snow in a Texas Panhandle winter storm?

I think it is a combination of writer's block and more photos, thanks to the two photogenic additions to the farm this year. But even with a dedicated horse blog that Stella can star in, Dances With Horses doesn't get enough attention; starting a third blog just for Poppy isn't realistic. So I'll just have to do another post with just Poppy pictures from the last few days.... What did I do when I had adorable lambs born here every spring? 

Speaking of lambs, the lady who leased Blake sent me two more photos. The twin ram lambs are now two weeks old; the little black ewe lamb was born on March 24, along with a stillborn twin. Interesting how the ram lambs look more like Babydolls and the ewe lamb looks more like a Shetland.

Back to the horses. Since Brian graded the arena it's been pretty wet so I haven't wanted to use it. I can ride Lance down the gravel road, but Stella wasn't getting as much exercise as she's used to. Wednesday I decided to attempt 'ponying' her from Lance. Ever since Lance chased Stella so aggressively around the arena, I wasn't sure he could be safely used to lead her from horseback, and was hesitant to try without an assistant. But I haven't been able to enlist an assistant, so I forged ahead alone. I managed to mount Lance while holding Stella's lead rope, and we walked up and down the driveway several times without incident.
The next day the arena footing was dry enough to walk on, so I ponied Stella off Lance again, with more progress. I wouldn't want to try it off-property unless Lance was wearing a Western saddle with a horn to dally on, but I'm thrilled to have this option to work my horses together. I need to do a longer post on this over on the horse blog....

Moving on to things seen around the property lately.

Deer checking out the old rope swing:

Things in bloom:

Photo-bombing Chuckie

That Chuckie; he's everywhere, seeking attention from us or interaction with Poppy. You can see why I no longer fill the bird feeder!

Fortunately, he wasn't around when a bluebird used it as a perch. We've had a pair hanging around for several weeks; I can't tell if they are setting up housekeeping in one of our nest boxes.

Earlier this week an acquaintance messaged me. Did I know anyone looking for a Decker rat terrier? (I assumed she asked because we follow each other on Instagram so she's seen Poppy.) Her family had 'repossessed' a Decker they had acquired as a puppy. They got Finn from someone who mistakenly thought a Decker pup would make a good office companion (ha!), but he was a chicken-killer so they found a different home for him. After 8-9 years, that lady moved and couldn't take Finn, so my acquaintance agreed to take him back.  He no longer bothered chickens or other livestock, but he wasn't working out with her other dog and young daughter. Hmm; might he be a good playmate for Poppy? I went over to meet Finn after work on Thursday, even though I doubted Rick would agree, and met an intense bundle of solid muscle.

Remembering Poppy's broken splint and the atrophied twig of a leg it's supposed to protect, I decided that Finn might be too much playmate for Poppy right now. In another month it might be a different story; we'll wait and see if he's still available then.

Finn might also be too much for our home, given the adaptive measures we're already had to take:

Yes, that is an x-pen around Rick's recliner. Poppy has a penchant for the books and magazines/catalogs Rick likes to keep beside his chair, for the potting soil of the two big houseplants behind Rick's chair, and more recently, for the chair itself. Sigh....

That dirt got vacuumed up yesterday in preparation for Sabbath. I also prepared a special dinner for Sabbath as usual, even though we are staying home to stay safe. I pulled currents out of the freezer to make a pie for dessert,

using a purchased pie crust since I struggle with that particular skill. Every once in awhile, Grocery Outlet gets a brand I'm comfortable using, and I grab as many as I have refrigerator room and budget for.

Our entree was Butternut Squash Lasagna from the one recipe site I rely on most. My son positively swoons over this dish!
A generous side of steamed fresh broccoli completed our meal.

Before the rain started, Rick and I took Poppy for a walk down the gravel lane and back. As we neared home, I noticed a light-colored bird among the robins on a neighbor's lot. It was shaped like a robin, and acted like a robin . . . and when it turned just right, I could see a robin's red breast. Hot dog; it's a leucistic robin!

It's harder to detect against the sky; it's the one closest to the power pole
Sorry; that's the best my iPhone 8 can do. When we got home Rick grabbed his DSLR and big telephoto lens and went back to look for it, but it had moved on.

Finally, this is the pretty roving I'm spinning for April:

That's it for the unPoppified post from . . .

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

April showers

Blogpal Elaine shared a couple of memes this morning that made me smile, so I'm sharing them as well:

Happy April, ya'll!

Poppy started off this morning earlier than usual, and restless. Her tummy was all "bubble and squeak," and she desperately wanted to eat grass. Now, after a couple mucous-y urp-ups, she is sleeping in front of the fire. And the fire we need; March ended cool and wet and April is continuing the theme. If the sun pops out for a bit, Poppy melts in sun puddles like the cartoon cat Garfield; if there's no sun, a lap will do (although as you can see, she is outgrowing my lap!):

She doesn't nap all that much, but the rest of the time she's often moving too fast to capture on camera. Unless she is being "queen of all the toys" after I've gathered them all up to vacuum....

Sure glad we had a dry interlude last Sunday to get some outdoor things done. I took a couple photos of the weeding progress Brian has made, freeing up the parsley and beets that overwintered in the garden (plus gratuitous shots of my Tahiti daffodil and one of my Japanese maples that is as pretty as a flower):

I dodge rain showers to get Lance out for rides down the road; sometimes I am supremely blessed by views like these:

And, of course, rain brings rainbows. Thursday on my way home from work I saw an extraordinarily low, fat one:
Yesterday afternoon a tall, skinny one arched across the eastern sky. (I didn't realize it was a double until I downloaded my photos!)

That's it for today from . . .

Monday, March 30, 2020

Maybe it's the rain

Feeling overwhelming pressure from the number of photos in my "blog photos" file, I am forcing myself to do a blog post, when all I really want to do right now is escape. Escape what, exactly? I'm not sure, but I suspect it is like Julie says in her latest post:
It is a surreal feeling, to know that all this space is ours to inhabit, knowing how many people are confined to small apartments, even to cruise ship berths akkkkk!  afraid to leave for the contagion all around. Knowing this, and empathizing with people all around the globe, makes for a very unsettled state of mind, an agitation that never leaves you. I can feel the disturbance in the force. I can feel the panic, the unhappiness, the deprivation, the fear. It's a drumbeat under every breath we draw.

That makes trying to keep an active, intelligent, 15-week-old (as of today!) Decker rat terrier pup exercised and entertained, especially when it is raining outside and nothing I have to protect her splint from getting wet and dirty that lasts longer than a minute, particularly exhausting. She is understandably needy, and sometimes I have nothing left to give. Today she's spent waaaay too much time locked in the laundry room, first while I was gone to work (Brian was home but otherwise occupied), then after I got home with a headache and a short fuse (to keep her from igniting said fuse).

This (mood), too, shall pass. Yesterday was actually great. We expected rain, but got a one-day break. Rick and I took Poppy for a walk while Brian slept in; her joy in the little journey was infectious. She desperately wanted to play with the "neighbor boy" on the way home, but we didn't want another broken splint so had to disappoint her. (When we got back, we changed her bandaging.)

I turned Stella out to play, and got some great photos when Brian decided to interact with her.

Then I rode Lance up the hill. There were lots of blooming things to see, and a great view from the top.

When I got back, Brian helped me grade the arena, which it's needed for a very long time. But that means not using it until the rain stops and it dries out some, or it will be wasted effort.

Other accomplishments: Rick got all the caneberries and grapevines in our garden pruned, Brian did a little more weeding, I did laundry and made bread, brownies and supper.

So good riddance to today and here's to tomorrow at . . .