Monday, November 29, 2010

More Pictureless Ramblings

The cold weather is great. No flies, just lots of mud. I still like the mud better. Give me a couple more months and things will be different, though.
Sparkle canters up to anyone who will talk to him. He's so proud and feels so good. He's still thin, but his legs are not wobbly any more. He waits for his grain morning and eve and goes into the barn for his dinner.
Lexi and Rosie went out for about three minutes today and then came right back in. They do not like the mud. Levi II would love to get out and romp with the others. Previous injuries keep him limited, but we're working on a plan for him.
Charles and Belle continue to be close and break our hearts because we can't do anything for Belle.
Lucky and Cricket love being out. Bobbie leads, then Lucky, then Cricket. They look like steps.
Promise and Charity are still chasing Wild Bill. Brian was able to pet him on Sunday.
Chance, Harmony, Daisy, Ruby, Jesse, Breeze Bay, Cash, Pedro and Rico are all wearing their blankets. Levi I took his off and stomped it in the ground.
Marnie, Tess, and Amira are never far apart. Neither are Aurora, Sunny and Chardonnay. I thought they all might get cold with this last freeze, but no one has the shivers. I guess the good hay is keeping them warm.
Skittles and Tiger Lily still have their blankets on. They do shiver without them.
More about the rest of the herd tomorrow.
When I feed on the tractor I have to navigate between donkeys, mules, a miniature horse, a Saddlebred and dogs. No one seems to care that I need to move ahead. They mosey along, eating the hay on the front tines and stop to enjoy the view. Tonight I couldn't even get through the gate because donkeys would go out as I came in. Had to go way around to the other gate.
The Holidays make folks more cheerful, but the animals are joyful always. They enjoy each bite of hay, each sip of water, each ray of warm sun. I think I'll try to be more animal-like and take joy in all the simple parts of the day.
Final ramble for tonight. I wish all of you the happinesses we have here at Home At Last. To see healthy horses eating together, the calves growing big and strong, the goats on their house and to know that this is our life, brings us contentment and peace. We have friends, family and a great support group that help us live this life. We'd like to share it with you. Call and come out on a Sunday from 10-2. 530-514-1439. There is a critter here who will steal your heart and make you smile.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pictureless Ramblings

Thanksgiving seems to bring out the best in people. There are no gifts to buy, just togetherness with food, family and friends. It makes us happy that so many of you support HorsePlus (NorCal). Because your kindnesses many equines who would have faced a horrible death are now with loving families. Those who had to be euthanized were done so with tender care.
We are thankful to those of you who support Home At Last. Almost half of our herd comes from HorsePlus. I'll try not to forget anyone. We have Dancing Drum, Star, Promise, Charity, Wild Bill, Chance, Levi I, Daisy, Cash, Jesse, Posey, Dobbin, Jonathan, Callie, Juan, Skittles, Tiger Lily, Sparkle, Molly, Lady Bug, Belle, Aurora , Sunny, Tess, Amira, Smoke, Stony, Navajo, Tucker and Rosie. (Don't forget the calves and goats, too). We are so glad we can provide a forever home to these wonderful animals.
Some of our animals were lovingly placed with us by their owners. We are grateful to have earned their trust.
In planning your 2011 budget, please, remember the horses at Home At Last need your help. Even if you plan $5.00 a month it will mean a lot in the feeding and care of the 60+ critters we have. We are hoping to build more shelters this coming year. Of course, all the animals will continue to receive the best food, vet and farrier care. They will get their shots, and deworming. When the time comes for them to get their angel wings, they will be loved and cared for in the most tender way. All this costs money.
Can you , please, help the horses? Thank you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving and Beyond

What could be better than family, friends and football? For Thanksgiving that is the best. Graham, Thelma and Carly enjoy the nibbles before the big dinner.

Helen, Tina, Leah, Graham and Mac are waiting for dinner.

Thelma is Jim's mom. She celebrated her 90th birthday in October.

Tina, Helen and Leah watch a mule go by the front window.

Thelma, Graham, Amy, Aaron, Andrew, and Tracey enjoy dinner with all the trimmings.

After dinner Ron and Jim relax on the deck.

Carly is almost passed out while Tina and Leah watch.

Thelma, Tracey and Helen visit the hours away.

Jim, Graham and Aaron enjoy the sunshine.

Later that day Brian and Callie had a visit.

On Saturday we drove to Sierraville to get Beth. The drive back was foggy and drippy. Seemed to take forever to drive Hiway 70. There was snow all over and we saw small calves out with no shelter. We wondered how they would survive a below freezing night.

Today was stormy and windy. Patches snuggled beside me while Jim and Beth got a truck load of hay.

The clouds cleared toward evening.

Beth had homework to do. What a way to spend a Holiday. She got it done, though. Go, Beth, go.

The sunset was breath taking. Good-bye, rain, til next time.

Tomorrow it's off to the airport and a long wait for the plane with Beth.
Thank you, Christina and Ursula for your donations. You are special to Home At Last.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

First thing this morning Patches hopped in the bathroom window and it made a very pretty shadow on the wall.

Most of the day was spent in getting ready for tomorrow's big feast. While chopping, dicing, and cleaning, the 50's oldies music was blasting away. We also listened to several versions of Amazing Grace. When we looked out the window there was our own Amazing Gracie taking a rest beside Juan.
This seems to be a statement of what Home At Last is all about-love, trust and plenty of food.

The thing that needed cleaning most today was the refrigerator . There are only two of us here most of the time, but we had 13 bottles of salad dressing and 7 of mustard.

Like most of you, I'm sure, two of our door shelves have horse medicine.

Patches found the eggs in the little bowl lots of fun to play with. He rolled one across the floor, then went back for the other one.

The balancing of plastic bottles is an important part of fridge cleaning.

Much better. If no one notices tomorrow how clean everything is, I'll point it out to them.

On this Thanksgiving eve, we have so many things to be thankful for. We are blessed to be able to do what we do, and to be surrounded by those who help us. We thank every donor, sponsor, volunteer, friend and relative who makes Home At Last a true sanctuary.
We are thankful for those who have entrusted their beloved pets with us and those like HorseFirst (NorCal) who rescue so many needy animals. We are thankful for the Vet and farrier care, for the hay and feed, and the other businesses who have helped us so much.
We thank friends and family who keep us on track and who give us a shoulder to cry on.
We thank the little children who put in their pennies, nickles and quarters for the horses. We thank the adults who share what they can.
Thank you all for giving Thanksgiving meaning.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hurricane Griszelda

Last night hurricane Griszelda came roaring through the canyon. It was a sleepless night as the wind would slam into the house for many minutes, making your whole body cringe. Then it would be quiet for a while. Start drifting off to sleep and WHAM the wind was back. Needless to say there was not much rest time.
This morning, however, was beautiful. There were times when it was almost warm outside.

Honey cat and Mac dog took advantage of some horse blankets in the sun. This is unusual as my dogs are not always friendly to cats. Honey has survived because she won't run from them. If she gets worried about their intentions she slips under the garage door and into her safe place.

They are making up for the sleepless night last night.

Patches joined them but on the inside. Made me want to take a nap, too, but there was too much to do. Most of the lower barn horses were turned out. Marnie, Tess and Amira hung around the barn to make sure they were really supposed to be out. Chardonnay, Sunny and Aurora exploded through the gate and took off for the big turnout. Lacey danced on her tippy toes until the gate was opened, and then she and Babe made a run for it. Even Rosie, Lexi and Quest got turned out. Of course, Belle, Charles and Levi II had to stay in.

Feisty and Princess took advantage of the blue chair for a cat nap.

Soon Love joined the nappers. There was still more work to do so I couldn't join them. Jim had gone for a load of hay, so I led Cash, Breeze Bay and Jesse, one by one to their turn out. Levi I was so glad to see them. Mud was flying all over as the rumpus was going. Sparkle wanted out, too so he was turned loose in the backyard with the long and petite ears.

Amy, Aaron and Tracey with dogs,Tuffy, Lily, Mona and Jessie came for a visit. Aaron and Amy led Chance, Harmony, Pedro , Rico and Ruby to their turnouts and blanketed them before they left. They also, did Breezy, Cash and Jesse. It's supposed to be in the low 20's tonight. That's mighty cold for some of the oldies. 13 horses are wearing warm cozy blankets. Thank you again, everyone.
When I fed this evening many were waiting to come in at the lower barn. Lexi came in with new friend Navajo. Marnie and girls and Chardonnay's trio were most anxious for a stall spot. Quest, Rosie, Bobbie, Babe and Lacey were there, too.
Everyone got a double feeding. Sparkle went in the lower barn, but only because he was bribed with grain. He loves to be free to gallop up and down the road.
The wind did some damage, pipes had to be repaired and wrapped for the cold and fences and chargers fixed.
We are preparing for our most favorite Holiday. We are thankful to all who help the animals at Home At Last

Monday, November 22, 2010

Camera Still Resting

Another pictureless blog. The camera is on vacation and I didn't want to brave the pre-Thanksgiving shoppers to get a battery. I did go to Tractor Supply to get feed.
We fed in the cold wind this morning and all the horses who are in the barns are getting very crabby and cranky. They want out to romp and then back in. We can do it for some, but for the others it isn't feasible. Moving them when they are wound up takes a lot of time and patience Tomorrow Aaron and Amy will help us move them, weather permitting.
We'll blanket the less fuzzy ones because it's supposed to be in the low 20's tomorrow night. We'll see.
Did some banking in preparation of the Thrift Shop operation, then had lunch with Helen and Ron. After lunch we met their goose, Gandolf, who is a wonderfully beautiful boy.
The wind was bitter cold tonight.
We have new horse friend groupings. Lucky loves Bobbie and follows her all over. Cricket loves Lucky and follows him. It's a cute threesome as Bobbie is twice the size of Cricket.
Tonight Quest pushed the gate open between he and Lexi and they were eating side by side. When I park the tractor at the lower barn, Callie, Juan and Dobbin stand at the tractor front and nibble hay from the bucket.
Jonathan eats with Baby Jane, sometimes with Dobbin and once in a great while, Gracie.
The calves eat with everyone.
Levi II doesn't want anyone near him, nor does Babe. They often kick the side of the barn for good measure.
My heart is heavy because Belle is failing. She is losing weight despite all we can do for her and her balance is very bad. The other day I threw a flake of hay into their stall, and poor Belle almost fell over trying to step away from the hay. Charles stays right next to her now, almost as though he is her guide, not the other way around. Belle is a lovely white mule who has great dignity and has been a wonderful support for Charles. She loves to have her ears rubbed. The edema on her belly is still there and she just doesn't have the zest for living she once had. She is on our Close Watch List.
Thanks to all who have sent blankets. The herd is so much warmer now.
Remember that Home At Last is supported by generous donors like you. Any amount helps. All money is used for the animals' feed and care. There are no paid staff at the sanctuary.
Thank you to Megan and Linda who brought 4 bags of feed today. They visited with everyone. Dobbin was on their heels every minute.
Feisty and Princess are curled up together on the chair and Mac is snoring behind the couch. Time for hot choclate and a good book.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

After the Storm

This morning Patches found the warmest spot in the house. He stretched out and soaked in the heat.
See the louvers on the heater? Well, there are 498 of them. Yep, I counted because that was what I thought needed cleaning when we were going to have the Board meeting here. I took a table knife and an old tee shirt and cleaned each one individually. Was 1/2 way done when we decided the weather was too wild to have a meeting. Cancelled the meeting, but finished the louvers. Last time it was the pitchers over the counters. Wonder what it will be next time? Thanksgiving is coming. I'm sure I'll find something odd that absolutely, positively has to be cleaned before company comes.

This morning the gang was waiting for their treats- Dobbin, Gracie, Baby Jane and Jonathan. Callie was on her way up from the lower barn

First the songs and then the food.

The primordial swamp is really muddy now. The storm last night really raged. Always wondered what made the storm so mad that it had to rage so wildly. Blanketed some of the horses who wouldn't or couldn't get in the barn. We could use a few new shelters for these critters. Anyone????

Frankie was cranky, while Moon Dancer just stayed out of his way.

Dancing Drum wanted me to stop taking pictures and start throwing hay.

The upper barn horses stayed dry. Harmony, Cash, Pedro, Rico and Ruby joined the Standardbreds, Charity and Promise. Wild Bill had insisted on being in the girls' pen. They are not nice to him, but he is devoted to them.

Hey!! Stop with the pictures and throw the hay.

Harmony stayed to the back, politely waiting her turn. We were able to give her former owners some help with their present horse.

About this time the camera started flashing and the message said Battery Exhausted. Wait a minute. The battery had been charging all night. I told the camera, "It doesn't matter if you are exhausted. You work at a sanctuary and you work whether you are exhausted or not." Well, that works with people, but not cameras. Guess I need to get a new battery. Jim and Brian didn't say anything about me scolding a camera, but I did get a couple of strange looks.
You'll have to use your imagination from here on for a bit.
The storm made lots of gooey mud and the wind was cold today. No rain, but it was slippery. Lucky and Cricket insisted on being let out. They charged out and headed for the open area.
The gate was opened for Marnie, Tess and Amira and they went out, turned a round and came right back in. They'd rather be a little crowded than cold.
Juan is walking almost flat footed now. He was out with the others in the yard. We have a yard full of longears with one little petite pair of ears. Gracie holds her own with the donkeys and mules.
The weather is unpredictable so we'll have to see if the horses stay in or get turned out.
Going forward on the Thrift Shop. Maybe a February opening.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Busy No Picture Day

Some days are so busy I forget to get the camera out. The day started as usual with feeding and watering chores.
Larry of Wilson's Worms arrived to take away more manure. We have a never ending supply. I hope his little wiggly friends like the special food the horses make for them. Do you suppose worms have taste buds? Do they have tongues? How do you know if a worm likes something? Does it wag its tail? Oh well. So many questions. So few answers.
Then Aaron and Amy stopped by. Aaron trimmed Charity and Promise. He gave Juan a new shoe and refitted Smokey's shoes. Then they were going to catch Jake, but Jim's phone rang in his pocket and Jake was sure the horse getter had arrived. He was gone in a flash.
Panels were put in the barns so we could put horses in for the storm. Then Aaron climbed some trees so a tarp could be put up for Daisy and Levi. Then Levi and Daisy got warm water proof blankets. Thanks, Eileen.
While the guys were having their fun Amy and I went to the bank, Tractor Supply and for a pizza. Actually we had almost reached home when we remembered we had forgotten the pizza. Back we went and then came home.
After dinner some of the horses were put in the barns and fed. Now it is snuggle in the house time for us.
Many of our horses do not have a shelter. Can anyone help us either with building materials or money especially for buildings? Thank you.
Thank you to Ruth C for your donation.
When you shop for the Holidays please, remember Good Search. Home At Last is one of their charities and we receive a donation from them if you specify us. We are also, listed with Igive.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Each time we come out the back door we are greeted by friendly faces. Dunny, Dancing Drum, Star, Frankie and Moon Dancer anxiously await a treat. Who can resist those beautiful faces? They seem to be watching someone.

It's Jim, of course, getting ready to load the tractor with yummy beardless wheat hay grown by Lyle Livingston. We use 10-12 bales a day, depending on bale size and the weather. The colder the weather the more we we feed.

Ignore this picture. More later.

Sparkle is looking good. Yes, he's still thin but is steadily gaining weight. He has a "sparkle" to him now. His coat is shiny and he feels good.

This morning he galloped and bucked, just to let us know how very good he felt. He can go in and out of the barn all day.

He seems to say, "I'm on my way back to being big and beautiful." He must have been something to see before he was starved down.

Wild Bill had a bit of a romp outside of his turnout. He galloped around the yard for a while, terrorizing Gracie and Jonathan. Dobbin just kicked at him and Callie batted her big mule eyes at him.

Now you can look at this picture. Wild Bill said Howdy to Sparkle, his old room mate. Then we chased him back to his turnout. The idea was to get him into the big turn out but it didn't turn out (I know. I know. Bad play on words. Groaning permitted).

The bean bushes, which were really pea bushes, were enjoyed by the chickens. The cackling and clucking made the bushes sound tasty.

The goats had some, too.

Mr S said a thank you, while Poe relaxed. Eating is tiring work. Poe is much more gentle now. He doesn't believe every encounter has to begin and end with a head butt. Notice how he sits? That's a common way for him to rest.

The mini mule, Maggie B, and mini hinnies, Posey and Sugar, are getting fuzzy coats.

Banjoe and Julian want to wish friend Parcy at Horse Plus (NorCal) a happy birthday. It's almost their birthday, too. It was so hard to see those poor little calves thrown away and not taken care of. It was really hard to loose Benji and Cedric because of their initial lack of care. No baby should be thrown away.

Posey is usually very timid, but I think she wanted you to see her beautiful grey dappled coat. She was being ridden by a full sized man in the auction arena. He was hitting her in the face with a coiled rope so she would spin around. No wonder she doesn't trust people.

Baby Jane and Jonathan plod along. They spend quite a bit of time together. They have been practicing their singing and Baby has finally found her voice.

Dobbin is a love. Yesterday while I was watering and reading a book I felt something tickling my neck. Dobbin had come up behind me and was nuzzling me. Some times he puts his head in our laps and goes to sleep.

Jonathan shares his trailer space with Dobbin. Everyone gets along nicely until the grain comes out. Then it's every equine for itself. Dobbin first, then Gracie, Jonathan, and Baby. Sometimes Callie is there and sometimes not. Sparkle is already in the barn with his grain.

Today I had lunch with friend Holley. She has known me longer than Jim has. We met as high school freshman over 50 years ago. Holley is a real animal lover and also very creative. She made me this tin can horse. I thought I'd name it DunCan. Do you have any suggestions for a name?

Isn't it cute?

Life is precious. Enjoy each day.