Friday, April 30, 2010

Our days are bookended by feeding. Oh, we do lots of things before the morning feeding- our breakfast, sometimes dishes and getting ready for Beth's school day and after the morning feeding - all the other chores for the day. Then comes the evening feeding. I'm a lucky person because Jim fixes dinner while I feed. We both do what we do best and cooking is not my best.
But somehow the whole day revolves around feeding. It is such a special time twice a day to be in touch with all the animals- to call each one's name-to do a quick health check- to just be with them.
The goats and I took a walk around the yard today. I felt like I did when teaching Kindergarten. There were kids climbing rocks, kids nibbling on things and kids running out ahead, then running back to me.
There are no pictures of Moon Dancer yet as I have not purchased the "thing"- an external hard drive . Have had an offer of one and will gladly accept it. Moon Dancer is an exceptionally sweet girl. She has had an eye removed, but seems to be accepting it well. Tomorrow I'll put her with Breeze Bay (who also has only one eye), Cash and Jesse. Since Cash and Breeze seem to be bonding, we're hoping Jesse will take to Moon Dancer.
The lemon and orange twigs have blossoms!! Last year the lime tree split and so far there are no blossoms on it. Ah, visions of fresh lemonade and orange juice. There are four kinds of rescues. Some save the whole herd but are not so concerned with individuals. Their focus is herd preservation. Some rescue, rehabilitate and rehome. The good ones are careful in their adoption policies (like our friends at NorCal Equine Rescue). Some like us are sanctuaries where the animals spend their lives. No selling the animals. The final type is the hoarder. Hoarders take more than they can care for and though their intentions may be good the animals suffer.
This is Breeze Bay. She is a registered Arabian. Her owner had been a hoarder, then committed suicide leaving many animals at the mercy of non-horse people who wanted all the animals euthanized. A previous owner got her and brought her to us. Jim and I fed her grandmother when we were students at Cal Poly, Pomona. Breezey has an insistant whinny when the food arrives. She does not want to be forgotten.
Lexi is beautiful. We got her in the wintertime and she had the shaggies. Now she has shed off to the most glorious black girl. Her owner loved her dearly and placed her here with a great deal of care. Thank you, Cathy, we love your girl.

Keecha is always ready for a good chase. Now that there are birds, butterflies and all sorts of flying things she is busy all day.

Tomorrow we are going to The Spring Fling at SpringValley School. I'll take pictures, but no telling when you'll see them. We'll have an informational booth, sell tee shirts and sell tickets for our drawings.
Thank you Carolene D and Brian C for your donations.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Moon Dancer

No blog tonight as Moon Dancer arrived after 9PM.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Today I had lunch with my friend Holley. She has known me longer than anyone on earth except my cousin Loree. We were high school friends and still can talk for hours. After our time together I got thinking about what different kind of friends there are.
There are friends you must rely upon and to whom you become devoted. Charles and Belle love one another and rely on one another. Belle is Charles' eyes and Charles is Belle's companion.There are some friends with whom you can relax. Molly mule is one.
There are friends who share your dream.

There are friends who like to eat what you like to eat. Bobbie and Bonita share some hay.

There are friends who will share a cup of tea with you like Tucker and Dr Darling.

There are friends who will share secrets like Pedro and Rico.

There are friends who like your cooking. Oliver isn't finicky.

There are friends who are no longer with us.

There are casual friends and there are good friends like Star and Stuart.

There are friends who trust you with their lives like Banjoe and Julian.

There are friends to gossip with like Jake and Sweetie Pie.

There are friends who like you just the way you are-Maggie B, Sugar and Posey.

There are friends that touch your hands and your heart.

And there are friends that make you smile whenever you see them.

Thank you to all our friends who make our lives so rich and happy. Come share our joy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thoughts From Jim

The days at Home At Last have a pattern of cycles and routines which are linked to nature, the animals and to being off-grid. There is the feeding of dogs, cats, birds, calves, goats and equines. There is management of power and water.
The power system is supported by wind, sun and occasionally by a generator. The wells fill storage tanks and watering troughs as well as providing domestic water.
The different needs of the critters requires medications and supplements, turn out and stalling, exercise and rest. These overlaying and meshing events and tasks weave a wonderful tapestry of activity.
It is both vibrant and peaceful in texture. There are repetitions, but no monotony.
Because of the lives who reside here, the variations are constant. Some are striking. Some are subtle. All are special to share in and experience.

Tanks fill and empty and refill in a tempo set by the seasons. Batteries charge and discharge and recharge again. New lives join us and, sadly, others leave us through death, leaving us privileged memories and appreciation of their lives. Our newest members find their places at the sanctuary. The baby animals-calves, kids, colts, kittens, pups and peeps- are a daily celebration of life and a source of joy.

Our older citizens teach us lessons in dignity, courage, peace and loyalty. This inspiring fabric of life woven with exciting and serene moments creates a truly wonderful and blessed journey for us.

Come visit us. We'd love to share this special life with you.

Jim and Donna Kyle 530-514-1439 PO Box 4129 Yankee Hill CA 95965

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Love Mondays

The sun was shining when we got up. The breeze was blowing and it wasn't too hot. The horses were hungry and happy to see me. Coral Belle the tractor is still waterpumpless, but Lucy Brown-Jim's tractor with a back hoe- is filling in. She's cool because she has a cover to keep out sun and rain. And she's BIG. I can crash into all sorts of things with her.
After feeding while Jim was watering I cleaned stalls. They are a real mess after the winter. We can't get them really clean until Larry the Worm Man comes to take the manure. It's been too muddy for him to get in the stalls.
Then Aaron(farrier) dropped off wife Amy and Tuffy and Mona dogs for a visit while he went to work elsewhere. As Amy was coming in so was our favorite group from COVE. There was a lot of new friends for them to meet, lots of pictures taken and lunch on the deck.
When COVE left and Jim left to get Beth Amy and I sat on the couch and fell asleep. We didn't wake up til Aaron came in . There were baby goats on the deck!!!
Aaron and Amy left about the time Jim and Beth got home. I wanted to feed early to get the horses in one spot for Dr Darling. Dr D and Lauren arrived as I was feeding so with the help of Beth and Jim they wormed and vaccinated about 16 horses before an emergency call came in.
We have a watch on Braveheart, Star and Quest. All three are not doing as well as we would hope. All are old- in their late 20's. Their teeth are good and their diet appropriate, so it may be old age catching up to them. Of course, Tory, Tawny and Jonathan are on watch, too. Dr D was very happy with Jonathan's enthusiasm for life now. He said his neck has severe arthritis and that is why he can't move his head so well.
Aurora will continue her antibiotics for three days for her cough. She still has the old spunk that kept her going when we first got her. When Dr D tried to take her temp she said No Thank You loud and clear. Good Old Aurora.
Jonathan's life is a happy one now. Sun and shade and naps whenever he wants one. Love is taking advantage of the warmth, too.
Isn't he the most wonderful sight in the world? His coat is getting shiny and he even cantered a bit today. He knows he'll get petted if he walks up to someone.
Last year's Christmas tree likes the front yard. It's too stickery for anyone to nibble on it.

Little flowers- there is more rain coming. Are you ready?

Six horses were out today dining with Gracie and Jonathan. Tory and Tawny meandered all over.

Tawny and Tory are so bonded now that when one looses sight of the other the whinnying begins. They race around at a gallop until they find one another. Today old Tawny even jumped a bale of hay to be with Tory.

We have a special small friend who really helps with caring for the horses. Thank you, Sequioa, for being such a good friend to the animals. We are lucky to have you helping us.
A huge thank you to all the folks who provided gifts for our drawings-
Bunnies N Blooms
Black Bear Diner- Paradise
Serenity Day Spa
Steelhead BBQ
We'll be at Spring Valley School this Sat from 10 - 12. May have a new horse coming in so we have to get back home.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We're Baaaaack. Sort of. Now my computer won't accept new pictures so this will be a verbal blog.
Yesterday we had a really busy day with 2 volunteers- Helen working with Amira and Jenny learning about horses. I was getting ready for today's Horse Festival in Paradise.
What a great time we had today. We set up next to NorCal Equine Rescue and North Valley Animal Disaster Group. Not far away were our friends from Sunshine Sanctuary. (They got us started with MayBelle mule, Jessie mule and Sweet the Kiger mustang).
We saw lots of friends we knew and made many of new ones. Beth took Babe the Pony of the Americas and the girls were a big hit. Lots of interest in the horse and the sanctuary.
We have gifts to be raffled and received a big donation that was specified to take care of some needed truck repairs. Thank you anonymous.
Our valiant volunteers, Joanna and Anna manned the table so I could wander a bit.
The Paradise Horseman's Association really puts on a good event.
There were all sorts of horses and shows, plus goodies to buy and good information given out.
I suppose I'm going to have to buy whatever it is I need for my computer to accept pictures, but that won't be for a bit yet.
Our horses are doing well with the warmer weather, but more rain is expected. The vet will be out so we can finish our shots and vaccines.
Gracie and Jonathan continue to use the yard as their kingdoms. The Thoroughbreds, Pedro, Rico and Chance are still in the barn awaiting the vet. Lexi and Ruby eat nose to nose. Charles and Belle nap regularly in their pen. The calves moo and low every time we peek out the door and the baby goats maaaa when they see us. The donkeys, mules and horses are making their way to the lower pasture where a little grass tries to grow.
I am completely exhausted and completely happy with today's adventure. Brian, bless his heart, fed for me tonight and helped Jim feed the goats. I was so tired I could only wiggle my toes at them. Thank you, Brian and Jim.
I will save up $ so I can by the "thing" I need to store pictures. Until then you may get oldies. But not tonight. Thanks everyone for everything- love, support, kind words and of course, the donations you make.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Too tired and too busy to post anything.More tomorrow

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thank you for the wonderful response to yesterday's blog. A special thank you to Sequoia and Diane for their generosity.
Here are a few more ideas for raising money for Home At Last. Ask a friend to donate (or several friends). Have a bake sale. Have a bakeless sale-where you donate the money that you would have spent on ingredients. Have one less coffee a week or month. Sell an unwanted item or have a garage sale. Be sure to tell folks the money is going to Home At Last. Have a car wash- or a horse wash. Organize a trail ride. Charge a fee to ride or accept donations. Have a play day for horses, dogs, kids. Take up a collection. Put up collection jars at work or your favorite store. Tell them about Home At Last. Get items for us to raffle. Donate tack or other horse items we can use. Go to a feed store and see if they will accept donations for feed for Home At Last. Do the same for other horse related items. See if building or fencing businesses will donate needed items. Tell them we'll thank them on the blog and when we are at horse events we will post a big thank you with their name on it.
There are so many beautiful things if your eyes are open to them. The plants are "springing" to life after the long winter. The carrot seeds haven't popped up yet...

But the lettuce did.
The flowers are recovering after Banjoe's and Julian's attack.

Hey!!! Have a plant sale and donate the money to Home At Last.
Dancing Drum and Pilgrim are enjoying the sunshine.

The herd in the front spent a lot of time dozing in the sun.

The living room plants wanted to show off, too. This is Benji.

Meet Irene and Delores.
Here's Philomena.

Thank you again to all you wonderful, generous and caring folk who are helping us help the horses.
Home At Last Sanctuary POBox 4129 Yankee Hill CA 95965
See us on Facebook, too.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Windshield Wipers of the Mind

This morning when I got up and it was raining I got grumpy. When I went out to feed and saw my dead tractor, I got grumpier. As I climbed in and out of the truck to feed I got really grumpy.Enough I said to myself. Find a way out of this funk look for a sign- a message- anything. And what did I see? Windshield wipers. They went back and forth clearing a spot so I could see where I was going. They didn't stop the rain, but they did make it possible for me to keep going. AHA. That's what I needed- windshield wipers for my mind. Just something to clear things up enough to keep going.
So I turned on the inner wipers and said "Self- listen up. Move on. Get over your funk." Well. once my mind started working in a positive direction it just wouldn't stop. Why do I not mind turning on a truck and pointing where I want to go. Why do I not mind using windshield wipers to help me see? AND why do I hate to ask for help with the sanctuary? Why am I reluctant to say Please, help us? I guess because we started this and thought we could do it on our own. We could when we had 20 horses, but now that we have over 55 we are overwhelmed. So "Self-Move on. get over it and let folks know what you need."
Our feed bill runs $2500-3000 a month for hay and about $250-500 a month for supplemental food. Our vet bill averages $200-500 a month without emergencies. We have a steady income from wonderful supporters of $900 a month. The rest Jim and I pay for from our dwindling savings. We are not extravagant people. Our money goes to the animals and we need your help. In the next few blogs I'll share some ways you could help the horses and hope that there are enough kind souls who will help.
The first way is to send a monthly donation. Any amount-$5, $10-$25 on a regular basis would do so much good. A one time donation would be great. Sponsoring a horse alone or with a group of friends would mean a lot. Remember all donations are tax deductible.
Soon my mind felt like the day looked- a few clouds, but mostly sunshine.
Jonathan checked CoralBelle and helped by taking off the extra hay. Would you sponsor Jonathan?
Then Tory pruned the weeds and flowers to make Home At Last beautiful. Would you sponsor Tory?

Gracie indulged in a mud bath for beauty's sake. Gracie is already sponsored. Thank you, Cathy.

More ways to help tomorrow, but for now it's THE END.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rain, muck and a broken tractor, all made right by the love of a donkey.

The first part of the day is undocumented because it was soooo frustrating. First the rain came pouring down and the horses blamed me. They gave me dirty looks and shivered. They ate but let me know that sunshine was preferable to the crummy wet stuff. Last night I had put Aurora, Chardonnay and Sunny in the barn because the wet weather makes them really cold. Aurora has a cough we are treating and we wanted her to be in for the vet to check.

Well, Jakester the jokester had opened the gates and pushed them out so he and Sweetie Pie could be in. The girls were cold so I shooed Jake and friend out and had to lead the other girls back to the barn in the pouring rain. Tied all the gates to keep Jake away.

Fed and watered then got ready to grocery shop. Shopping was a little different in that everyone was on slow speed. No one moved faster than Hector the tortoise. Then got the call that I had the wrong day for the vet and needed to turn out all the barn folks, excepts the girls and Tawny and Tory. We had put the Thoroughbreds in, too.

When I fed tonight CoralBelle the tractor decided to die, so I had to unload the hay trailer onto the back of the truck. That meant in and out of the truck and in and out of the bed of the truck.AAACK!!!!

Now for the good stuff. We decided that Trixie's name didn't fit her. She didn't seem to respond to Trixie so we listened carefully to her. We tried Arab names and she liked and responded to Amira which means princess. She is such a wonderful horse and did everything Helen asked her to do.

Jake is a magician. He can open any gate, undo the locks and sometimes untie the ropes we use. He's also a big baby and is afraid of "getters." I had to sneak up on him to get this picture. He is special to me because he was the first horse who talked to me . At least he was the first I heard, and I heard him in words. It was a very powerful experience. He was a PMU rescue and is about 6 years old.I love longears. They are so spiritual. If you need to be uplifted and believe in something just get in touch with a donkey.

Molly mule is a gentle soul. She is a little shy but is a great girl.

Every time I turned around today there was Jonathan. Now that he knows we love him, he feels free to love us back. He askes for pets and rubs all the time. He follows us to the house, to the barn, to the water tanks, to the calf pen. He even followed the truck as I fed. He's so itchy, but doesn't like grain so we can't add supplements. Maybe I can grate some carrots and get some goodies in to him. Isn't he wondeful?

Tomorrow will be a less frustrating day, I hope.

Home At Last Sanctuary POBox 4129 Yankee Hill Ca 95965
This Sunday we will be at the Paradise Horsemen's Arena for gold Nugget Days. Stop by and meet Babe the Pony of the Americas and Smokey the Rocky Mountain House .