Monday, January 31, 2011


A warm beautiful morning greeted us. The clouds passed and the day sparkled. Even the valley was clear.

Dobbin, Jenny and Jessie enjoyed the hay from the truck. They were waiting for us to come out with the good stuff.

Look at that blue, blue sky. Jim hooked the empty trailer to go for a load of hay. We are using about 12 bales a day during the winter.
We have been worried about Tiger Lily and her weight loss, so this morning I wandered down to the lower well and brought her up. The idea was to let her out with Lexi and Ruby. She could eat hay all day.
We hadn't consulted Tiger Lily about this and she very quickly let us know she didn't want out. She wanted back with her herd. After about 45 minutes we realized she was not going to eat. She was looking for a way back in the turn out.
Jim went to the lower barn. Tiger Lily was back behind the stall turn outs. Jim said to her, "Come around the panels to the gate and I'll let you back in." Tiger turned and looked at him, walked on the hillside and stood beside him while he undid the gate.
She is not a horse we have spent a lot of time with and she definitely loves her herd, but she knew-she knew- what Jim had said and what he meant. She went in, turned to thank him and trotted back down to her herd. No one can tell us there is no communication between horse and man.

We loaded the Ford with Thrift Store items and off we went. Stopped by Laura's and Miss Pickles' place, then off to the Thrift Store

Helen and Ron have been working really hard to get things ready for the Feb 15 opening.

They still need counter tops, lumber, plywood, book cases, cleaning stuff, tables and a washer and dryer.

Hi, Ron. Let's help them fill the store with items to sell. Proceeds go to the animals at Home At Last.

Bring your items to 611 Walnut Chico between 11-4 daily. Let's fill these rooms.

It sure looks good. Thanks, Helen and Ron, for your exceptionally hard work. Volunteers are needed. Can you help? 530-990-1340 Clean up, set up, pricing, selling, intake.

Laura and I had lunch and then it was time to head home. That's Kirshner's Wildlife place on the left.

The drive over the Feather River is always pretty, if there is water in the Lake.

Makes me sing one of my favorite songs- Bridge Over Troubled waters-----

Ah! Home At Last.

How many people are lucky enough to have donkeys waiting for them at the side of the house?

My truck came home empty.

And Jim's trailer came home loaded. That's a week's worth.

This is where the old horse trailer was- the one Dobbin would stand underneath. It is being fixed up by Tumbleweed Productions for their programs. Home At Last will benefit from their shows.
My father would have said, "See the trailer that isn't there?"

The donkeys were glad Jim got back.

You're welcome, Jenny.

On a very serious note. We have mud. I think all Northern California has mud. Some states are buried under snow. The price of fuel is going up. The price of feed is going up. More and more horses are going to be feeling the effects of the weather and the economy. Please, friends. Be a voice for the animals that cannot speak for themselves. If you see any situation that looks wrong, unsafe or neglectful, please, report it. Keep reporting it until something is done. Call your county animal control, the humane society, law enforcement, county supervisors and the news. Let everyone know that animals will not be allowed to live in horrible, unsafe conditions.
We have mud, yes. But our horse are moved around so that they do not have to live in it. No animal should have to struggle knee deep in the goo.

Sparkle looks good now. He feels good now. He is a testament to people's cruelty and to survival. Please, speak out for all the Sparkles in the world.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cold Foggy Day

No photos today as most of the day was spent enveloped in fog. Chores were done quickly so that we could get on to other stuff. Jim got just a truckload of hay as we are expecting rain tomorrow.
The horses in the new turn out are adjusting to herd life. It's fun to watch the horses who haven't been a part of a herd before try to figure out what is going on. Sparkle spends a good deal of his time sticking close to Rosie and just looking. He holds his regal head way up high and watches. Levi II is a watcher, too.
As first I was worried that they might not get enough to eat, but there is a lot of food out and everyone gets their fill.
Juan decided that Rosie had enough beaus, so he came out to be with Callie, Jenny, Jessie, Dobbin, Jonathan and Grace. He was glad to get a treat of grain.
Rosie is a femme fatale. I know she's wonderful, and she sure has her followers.
Banjoe climbed out of his pen and joined the longears for a while. He was glad when Jim got home and put him back in. Julian missed him, even though the were only a foot or two apart.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Yesterday's Pictures Today's News

Yesterday Levi thought you all should see what a beautiful boy he is. He has "calf knees" which look like backwards knees. He was thought to be worthless and was on his way to slaughter. He couldn't be ridden so obviously he had no use. Well, he was rescued and he is valuable!! Just ask Daisy. To her he is priceless. He is her eyes, her protector and her best buddy. We had tried several horses with Daisy to see which would be her guide. None of the "gentle" ones wanted the job.

Levi was (and still is) a spunky, sporty rowdy fella. He romps and bucks and plays hard. We had not even thought of him as a guide. Somehow he got into the round ring with her and showed us he was the man for her. He never bites nor kicks her. He knows she can't see and is very careful around her. Oh, he carries on big time and even gets her into his silly games, but he is always respectful of her loss of vision.

Daisy is a registered Appaloosa. See the daisy pattern on back? She is about 20 and has been blind for a while. She has adjusted very well to her blindness. She relies on Levi, but also on her hearing and sense of smell. Clapping hands work well as a directional guide for her.

Because Appys have been bred for color and on their color gene is an eye defect, many Appys are one eyed or blind. Quest and Moon Dancer have one eye each only. Babe and Levi II seem to be fine visually.

Daisy was rescued by Diane who saw her listed on Craigslist for $1.00. Diane knew that killer buyers check to see who they can bu cheap then take to slaughter. It was Diane's birthday and she wanted to do something nice for someone else. Daisy was the lucky someone. Diane bought her then gave her to Norcal because she knew NorCal would find her a good home. That's how we got her. Thank you, Diane.

Daisy is a love. Both she and Levi could use a sponsor.

Rico is a fuzzy boy. He and Pedro got stung on the fence and have been standing in the middle of their turnout after their meals. I think they are saying to one another "You try it." "No, you try it." "I'm not going to try it. You try it." "No way." So they stand or sleep in the sun and leave the fence alone.

Pedro will get close to the fence to eat, but that's it.

Jim had quite a time with the fence yesterday. It is never a sraight line to get something done. Before you can string the wire, you have to straighten the fence posts. Opps, where, the pounder? In the barn, of course. Pull, tighten, pull, tie.

Stuart and Skittles thought they were going to have the turnout all to themselves.

Pull and tie some more. Eventually, there will be a gate there, but for now it is just a fence. We wanted the horses in the barn to have a drier place to be. And I wanted to have some yard left for a garden.

We have the sweetest little springs all over. We only wish they would run year round. Most of the ground is dry now, except where the springs ooze out of the ground.

Today there was a new adventure. We helped supervise the Concow 6th, 7th and 8th grades plant trees that the Yankee Hill Reforestation Project provided. So much of the Yankee Hill-Concow area has been devastated by fires and the new little trees will provide a new growth.

Children and adults dug holes, planted and then watered redwoods, oaks, cedars and fir trees.

It is so great when the community works together. Thanks, everyone. It was fun

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Took lots of good pictures today, then set the camera in a shady part of the tractor and didn't remember it until right now. It's dark, my hair is wet and I'm warm from my bath, so I'm not going out to look for it. Hope it is still there and not bounced off somewhere while I fed.
Oh well.
Maybe pictures tomorrow.
Jim rebuilt the fence so the small herd could have their own turnout. Stuart and Skittles were not real pleased that they had been invaded by 10 horses and one mule. We tried to leave Juan out but he couldn't stand to be away from Rosie.
There was plenty of hay all around so everyone could eat all day. The donkeys, Gracie and Callie only had Ruby and Lexi to contend with.
Fencing took all morning and the afternoon was spent doing laundry and taxes. Will I ever get done?
Gathering goodies for the thrift store. Our house and garage are filled to the brim. Starting Mon. you can take your donations to the Thrift Store from 11-4. Open 6 days- closed Sunday. Check the website We need lots of volunteers.
Cash and feed donations are always greatly appreciated. They are absolutely necessary for Home At last to continue serving the needs of the wonderful animals who live here. As you know, none of the critters here are resold or rehomed. When they come here they are truly Home At Last.
We value the life of each animal. They do not need to be anything but healthy and happy. Their value is in their existence.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lots Of News

The weather has been wonderful. The mud is drying and those nasty ole flies are hatching. The valley has been foggy, but we are just above the recent mist.

Nappers are having a great time. Lots to eat. Lots of dozing places. Gracie loves her sleepy time.
Frankie has been exploring his new turn out. He and Moon Dancer nibble on grass all over the place. A little green leaf pops up and chomp!! it's gone.

Somehow Levi II got turned on his side. He has been having so much fun being out. Tomorrow we are going to fence the upper turn out and put in the horses who have been in the back yard. The stalls are just too muddy and the weather is too nice for them to have to be in. Levi II does not seem to be having any leg or foot issues. He has made many friends and was enamored with Rosie yesterday and Tessie today.

Julian is getting huge, but he is still just a little boy. Look at his tongue. If you get near him, he will kiss you and try to old you close to him with that rough tongue. Can you imagine that he and Banjoe (plus thousands of others) were thrown in dumpsters and left to die? Male calves are of no use to the dairy industry. It is just wrong to throw babies away and leave them to die.

Aaron the farrier will come tomorrow and we will all try to catch Sugar so she can get her feet trimmed. Her hooves are way too long, but she is a wild one. We'll see how we do. I'll try to have my camera available to catch the action.

Lexi will join Ruby, Quest, Jesse, Levi II, Rosie, Sparkle, Babe, Lacey, Tess, Amira, Marnie , Stuart and Skittles in the upper turnout. They will still get extra food, but my poor yard is suffering from rampaging hooves. Gracie, the donkeys , Callie and Juan will stay out in the back yard. Hopefully we can build fences to preserve this Spring's garden.

Tess is having a hard time regaining her weight. She is checked frequently by Dr Darling. Her appetite is good, she's active and feels good. She's just a thin old girl. We'll keep feeding her lots.

GREAT NEWS!!!!!! Helen and Ron have been working hard to get the Thrift store open. They will be ready to accept donations on Monday Jan 31 from 11-4. The store will be open for business February 15. We need lots of volunteers to sort, tag, set up and then work when the store is open . Volunteers can apply starting Feb 1.
Check the website for information and an application.
We need everything-especially all kinds of clothing hangers and racks, book cases, shoe racks, a cash counter and a washer and dryer. Remember everything is tax deductible.
The store is at 611 Walnut Chico. Walnut is an extension of Hiway 32 before it becomes Nord Ave.
Thank you Frank and Mary C who made a generous donation as a Christmas gift for friends, and Maurya F and Carla G for your generous donations. You all are special friends to Home At Last.
The dogs found an animal who had been killed on the road. The buzzards led them to the body. Now the dogs have a "special" odor. They think they are so good smelling that they want to share with us. We don't share their enthusiasm and they get their feelings hurt when we send them away.
Oh well, life on the ranch is always interesting.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Downed Fences and Volunteers

Jim spent most of the day walking the fence lines looking for downed wires. He found branches on the fence, wires on the ground and several missing insulators. The horses have been pushing hard on the fences and the winds have dumped lots of limbs on them. It took him several hours to check and fix the fences. And that was just the top fencing. Tomorrow he has to check all the lower ones. There must be many miles of wires (each fence has 3 lines) that have to be tested. We try hard to keep the fences in good working order as that is a real safety issue. We don't want any meanderers outside the turnouts. If someone leaves the upper gate open it means horses could get on the Highway.
Volunteer Emily came today and brought her school friend JeoungIn. The girls groomed horses and had a great time. If anyone ever tells me they are bored, they have the opportunity of cleaning stalls for one hour. There is NO boredom allowed on the ranch.

They made Laura's Miss Pickles feel right at home.

Laura came today and is learning all about our feeding and watering routine. It is great to have someone who can do the chores if we can't. Thank you, Laura.

There is always a lot of eating at Home At Last. Patches is watching Miss Pickles eat leftover Chinese food.

More eating.

Tina, Leah and Carly came to help groom horses, too. They always check the big herd and we appreciate their input and insights.

Life is sweeter with our loyal volunteers.

We have loyal supporters, too. Thank you Donna A and Eileen G for your continued support of Home At Last.
Callie's broken knee seemed to be bothering her more than usual today. Laura massaged her knee and then we gave Callie some Bute. Bute is not only pain medicine, but also an anti-inflamatory. We'll check her again in the morning.
The spotted herd was out today-Quest, Levi II, Babe, Lacey, Sparkle and Ruby. They ate all day long.
Hope your week is wonderous.
Another favorite saying - "Thank you."