Oh, yes, finally you get to see the fruits of my labor. Two horses, approaching thin, delighted to be digging into that puny round bale that I dragged out for them. I was a little concerned they wouldn’t like it, as happened once or twice before, but no such problem here. I think they probably need a little help getting rid of worms and botfly larvae, and they will be in fine shape for pasture horses. Next step will be to spend a weekend mowing.

Tomorrow is the big day we place our offer for the place in Chama that has no name; it’s on the other side of the mountain from all those bears I told you about; and then we will take the lid off the pickup and take our horse trailer to someone to check the bearings and what-not. By March I will be more caught up and ready to roll than I have ever been in my life, and it’s taken only 13 years of retirement to get there.

Tonight, super tired. At my age we are supposed to be just hanging out, consuming medical things (that would cost half as much in Europe) to enrich the corposystem, and just generally being pitiful so the do-gooders can think their doing good is worthwhile.

Wait! I thought we women were liberated! Didn’t we bother to liberate old people at the same time? Or do we women stop being liberated when we get old? I didn’t hear anything about that in the contract. I do remember being liberated, and now – well, we Americans will do ANYTHING to force someone else into the position of pitiful so we can feel good about saving them. (Helpful hint if you really are pitiful, there is someone waiting for you out there who wants to be better than you – all you have to do is – well, this is a family show).

I suppose my time will come when I actually qualify for that kind of help, and clearly the corposystem, and a whole lot of ordinary folk, are doing their very best to make me believe it already has, but they haven’t convinced me yet, and every time they give me a phony reason boosts my ego just that much. The latest is that, since I have a hearing loss, and damn I can’t wear that hearing aid because of my chemical sensitivity – therefore I am in danger of becoming senile and depressed. Just because the birds don’t sing as pretty as they used to sing. Nothing I could do to prevent that, of course, other than buy one of their hearing aids.

I do have to admit, though – after spending an hour hauling out that round bale and then another hour boosting the dryer into the pickup – my body really does HURT!

But it’s not a bad hurt.

Reminds me of the days when I could do anything I wanted to do.

Looking for Mahonia

And Back at the Ranch

So now it’s a bloodhound has come to the ranch for help. There he was curled up in the rain, shaking, and so I took him to the other place where he could sleep under the house. He has a friend, a little brown dog who came looking for him back at the ranch for two days but wouldn’t let us get close. And then the next day it got freezing cold so I let Bubba inside. He’s quit well behaved for someone who is more than twice as big as Bitsy and walks around with drool dripping off his jowls. His water dish is pretty much sludge at the end of the day.

I’d say he is about four feet long. He found a pillow three feet square and curled up for the night and never bothered anything. I found him in the morning overlapping on all sides but quite happy. Bitsy likes him. Today I watched as they encountered the neighbor pitbulls. Bitsy always got along until this white male moved in next door, and now they try to fight through the chain link fence, which I don’t like, both because I don’t want a fighting dog and because I keep thinking one or the other might get stuck in the fence and lose a nose.

Well never mind, with Bubba in charge. He’s not only more than twice as big as Bitsy, he’s twice as big as anything around except the neighbor’s Great Dane, and he disdains to fight. Not only can he not be bothered, but the white dog backs off from him, even though there is a fence between and Bubba is obviously smiling. Bitsy is standing back letting him handle the situation. So if you think dogs don’t think, you would be wrong, and I’m glad for his steadying influence over Bitsy.

And horses, too. With the drought there is no pasturage at all, and now with cold weather I’ve been going over to the ranch twice a day to put out some hay. Old Mahonia needs more than hay, and so usually I also give a bite of alfalfa. Now everything is shipped in and the alfalfa is hard to get, so I fed some other stuff for the extra snack, and Mahonia got a little diarrhea and the next day I drove in, put down the grass hay, and left. Then it got cold and Mahonia came to be blanketed, and I fussed over her a bit and wondered if there was something wrong. She started to walk away a couple of times, but she seemed a little odd and then came back and snuffled in my face, and walked off again. I watched closely and couldn’t see anything wrong, so I opened the car door. Bitsy jumped in the car and Mahonia came back the third time, snuffled in my face and then reached out her nose, slammed the car door shut, and walked off to the feed shed where she normally gets her alfalfa hay.

So if you think animals don’t think – and feel – and get hungry and wet and cold, and mourn for those they love and trust when you dump them out because you don’t want them anymore.

You’re wrong, and may it be upon your head the suffering you cause.

Sweet Mahonia

It is not recommended that you should stand directly in front of a horse at any time, but I was trying to open a gate to let Mahonia into the tall fresh grass. I fiddled with the latch, with the gate behind me, the horse in front, and the fence to the right, when M’Donna decided to push her way through between Mahonia and the fence — to get some of that grass for herself.

So I stepped over to my right (facing the two horses) placed my hand on M’Donna’s chest, and with a good strong push I ordered her to back off.

Did I mention that M’Donna is as big as a house almost? Or at least a small draft horse. But very much more athletic.

What I didn’t see was Postdoc, who loves Mahonia and will not permit any other horse to come near her. Postdoc was coming up from behind with a nasty expression on her face, and so M’Donna had to decide whether to back off, as I ordered her to do, or fly forward away from the attack of Postdoc.

Postdoc is also bigger than I am.

We would have been OK even so, because I by this time I was already stepping back to the other side of Mahonia, when M’Donna’s foot came down on top of mine, pinning me there. I did try to get away. I got most of my foot out, but not the toes, or the shoe, and the shoe was attached to my foot.

The picture that flashed through my mind was of all of her enormous four legs (it was a movie picture, and her back legs really are as long as I am tall), entangling in my body as she flew forward; there was no doubt she was going forward and I was standing on the only place that she could go and her front foot wouldn’t lift off mine until after her back feet had hit the ground in front of them and pushed off again. And here they come!

Of course I didn’t actually THINK. A person can’t think as fast as a horse can move (really, that’s true). I just left my foot where it was and threw the rest of myself into the only space available — directly under Mahonia. Good old girl. She stood over me as solid and protective as any mother, until M’Donna got off my foot and I pulled the two parts of myself back together and slowly upright.

And this sort of thing, folks, is why I want you to WEAR REAL SHOES AND LONG PANTS if you come to visit me at home.

And then of course there are the snakes, but that’s another story.

Not to mention fire ants and killer bees.