Friday, April 29, 2011

More Country Fun

Jim had chores in Chico that kept him busy most of the day. That meant I had the whole day to have country fun. Oh Boy!! First I fed, then filled the lower tank. After that I filled the lower water tank and drove back up. The sun felt good even if the wind was chilly, so I plopped down by the primordial swamp to scoop more mosquito larvae. The mosquito fish are doing a good job of eliminating those creatures.
Next I did a few household chores then back outside for more fun. Water tanks needed dumped and refilled and the calves needed to give kisses. Aaron and Amy came by to trim a few hooves and will be back Monday to do more. About that time Jim got home, then Tim L arrived as did Su and Jerry. Soon Laura came and we began a filming project.
So much excitement for one day. Everyone helped feed and Laura had Maggie B eating out of her hand. Laura, you are amazing!!! The animals love you.
Babe and Lacey joined Bobbie at the hay wagon for a buffet of good food.

Poor little Babe is still thin from her bout with strangles last Fall. She and not-so-thin Lacey will be visiting a large pasture for the Summer. Hopefully, the sweet grass will fatten her some. She is still full of vim and vinegar and has lots of spirit. She is an older girl and needs some special care. Sparkle and Ruby are inseparable. Sparkle panics if Ruby gets too far from him and will run over the top of anything or anyone who gets in his way to his Ruby. He is still thin but gaining weight at a nice pace, not too fast. They will be going with us Sunday to the Paradise Horsemen's Arena off Clark Road in Paradise. Stop by and say Hi. 12-4 PM The upper herd gathered in the warm sunshine for an after breakfast tanning session.

Mac and Zoe And Keecha took resting seriously. They are practicing for hot summer days.

All except Love who was on another mouse hunt. She had found and killed a huge rat in the barn this morning. She likes to keep busy. Go, Love, go. Check out RailRoadWare by our friend Tim Leefeldt at He makes the coolest things from railroad items. He also helped us with a project we will be announcing soon. Thanks, Tim.

Thank you to Cathy S for her donations of money and supplies.

Our project will be announced soon and we will need everyone's help. Thank you in advance.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Country Fun

This morning, while waiting for the sun to shine through the clouds, I decided to have some real country fun. No one can say we gals don't know how to entertain ourselves.
Armed with a large strainer and a bottle of salad oil I tackled the huge population of mosquito larvae. First I sat by the primordial swamp and scooped larvae.I kept one eye on Zoe who thought nudges and cuddles were needed. I was afraid she'd nudge and cuddle me right into the pond. Now I do respect most all living things,but mosquitoes rank right up there with flies as being expendable, so expended them I did. Scoop, dump, scoop, dump until the ground was wriggling with wrigglers.
Then over to the goo puddles behind the barn where I couldn't get close enough to scoop, so I poured. Oil on the water keeps the little rascals from breathing. So pour and die was my motto there. Now I know city folks wouldn't see the fun in the scoop, dump and pour activities, but you country folks get it. Right?
The mornings have been spectacular. When the sun hits the trees on the hill behind us it is breathtaking. It makes us so glad that we live in the Northern California foothills.
Years ago- 1966 to be exact- Jim, my folks and I took a Christmas trip to Mariposa CA. The hills were so rich in history and so wonderful that I knew someday I wanted to live in them. We are a lot farther north, but in the same mixed woods hillside. We have grey pines, sugar pines, various oaks and a few poplars.There are manzanita and buckeye. Of course, there is a lot of poison oak, too, but even it is very pretty. It is a favorite donkey food.

Sugar and Gracie nap together in the warm sun. Sugar has accepted us now after 5 years. She had been abused and abandoned for years before she came to Home At Last, but comes up for treats and scratches all the time.

We have come to the conclusion that by letting the animals live with us all in one yard, they come to accept us more easily. We all share the place. It seems different from us going into their space. I wonder how long, if ever, Posey and Bucky will take to allow us to pet them.

Gracie will allow you to feed her treats and if you are quick you can catch her. Once caught she is very docile and seems to like the attention, but she does play hard to get. Feisty likes his cat climber. We had hoped the cats would climb and sleep in the cubby holes, but Feisty likes to sit on the very top. The top rotates so he's not always facing in the direction he started.

His newest game is to scratch the window and entice Keecha over. Then he jumps at Keecha and she jumps at him. He's playing. She's not. We have tried to explain to all the kitties those are not kitty-loving dogs, but the game continues. We watch the doors carefully so there is no close encounter of the worst kind.
Please, visit our website and Home At Last Thrift and Gift on FaceBook.

Jim and I spent the day working on the ranch- feeding, watering, grooming, fencing and getting ready for the week-end. There are regular house-keeping chores, too.

We are always tired at night, but look forward to the upcoming day. What new adventures await us? Maybe more country fun.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You Are The BEST

Thank you to Eileen G and Karen H for your donations. All you wonderful supporters of Home at Last are the BEST!!
The computer is being goofy and won't let me add any more pictures (I start from the bottom and work upwards) so I'll try to post this.
The Thrift Shop needs shoppers. Bring your family and friends to 611 Walnut in Chico and help the Thrift Store help Home At Last.
Posey enjoys her freedom, but has not yet decided we are OK. She feels safe enough, however, to have a nap in the sunshine.

This is the dreaded front gate, despised by mule, donkey and horse alike. The animals rub on the fence and have tried every way they can think of to get to the garden area.

Maggie B is definitely NOT happy about the new gates. She stands at the front gate for a while, then walks around the house to the side gate. She pushes and nudges and lets us know we have committed mini mule abuse. Just wait til Jim fences in the back and she has to walk waaaay around. She'll probably call Animal Control and report us. The days are getting warmer and it finally feels like Spring. Love and prayers for all of those in the storm ravaged areas.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pictures!!! Hurray!!!!

Thanks, Ron, for getting the pictures available to the computer. Ron not only is my computer hero guy, but also works daily at the Thrift Store. He and Helen have made the Store a real success.
Jonathan had one last bridge stand before Jim finished the fence, keeping us in and longears out. Now maybe I can start a garden and have some hope of it growing.

Maggie B has been most unhappy with the new fence and gate that keeps her from the breezeway and deck. She keeps pushing the gate and tonight managed to open it. She had a short clip clop and then was ousted again.

Meet my three birthday mules. This is Toby. He loves the horses and will eat with anyone. No one seems to mind when he joins them for a nibble. He's a pretty dun with lots of stripes. Isn't Tango a cutie? She and the other two are settling in nicely. She is a grulla with lots of stripes, too.

This is Tawny our beautiful curly mule. She whinnies a hello now when the tractor approaches. She and Tango are always side by side.Yesterday our friends and volunteers came for an Easter bar-b-que. What a great time we had. Everyone got to meet the critters and the critters got treats. Did I get pictures? No, of course not. I was too busy having a good time.

Please, check the FaceBook page and website for Home At Last Thrift and Gift. Donations for the store and volunteers are still needed.

The vet will be out next week to give vaccinations. We can use help paying for the vet bill. Thank you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Country Life

Country life is great. Not only do you have the beautiful views, the space and the animals, but you have neighbors who have the same interests as you. Yesterday as we were on the way to Chico to get a small load of hay ( the driveway needed one more sunny day before moving the trailer) and grocery shop we got a phone call. Love those cell phones!!! "Are you missing a black bull with horns?" No. Why, do you have one? "Yes, it's on my front porch looking in the window and wants to come in." Not ours, but try Mr. So & So. Sure enough a rancher who puts his cattle near us in the Spring was missing a bull. By afternoon Mr. Bull had been returned to the herd. I bet in the city no one would have called to try to locate the proper owner of a wandering bovine.
Last night the dogs would not stop barking because Maggie B the mini mule has now claimed the breezeway and back deck as hers. She demands food all the time and clip clops to the back sliding door to make sure we know she is there. After tossing aside the chairs we put on the breezeway to deter her- seven times- Jim finally built a temporary rope gateway to keep her out. Of course, that means we can't get out that way either, and feeding this morning will take longer, but at least peace reigned for the night time.
Sugar the mini hinny has now decided people are good things. She lets us pet her all the time. It took her over 4 years to become accustom to us. Posey still won't let us near her.
Toby, Tango and Tawny are adjusting well to their new herd. They trot up to the fence when the tractor arrives and eat with various horses. Juan had had enough of confinement and yesterday he came out to rejoin the Backyard Bunch. There are 11 critters- 4donkeys, 2 mules, 1 mini mule, 2 mini hinnies, 1 pony and 1 miniature horse- who roam the back yard at liberty. Jim needs to finish the fencing so we have some "people space." It should be interesting at the bar-b-que Sunday.
Sparkle, Ruby, Babe and Lacey continue their barn life. They are getting lots of extra groceries without having to compete with anyone else. We are very concerned about Babe. She is on our watch list. She has not been able to regain her weight after having the strangles last year. She is an old Pony of the Americas.
Patches has been darting out the door whenever he gets a chance. He is unwise to the ways of our cat killing dogs and we have to watch him all the time. Actually, our dogs don't kill all cats, just the ones who annoy them. Our four barn cats are safe as is Honey. I think Patches would annoy them, so he must stay in. He will be in kitty jail when we have folks who come in and out and don't know his wily ways.
Thank you Lin C and Dana D for your donations. Home At Last always needs your kind and generous support.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

3 Birthday Presents

Some people are just extra lucky and today it was my turn. Two years ago beautiful Harmony the Arabian mare arrived for my birthday. Last year it was Jonathan donkey and lovely Moon Dancer. Today Tango, Toby and Tawny mules arrived!!!! They are so special. HorsePlus had rescued them from Lassen County and they have been mistreated. They are spooky and do not like people very much.
I took lots of pictures so soon you will be able to see them. Toby is a dun mule with tiger stripes on his legs. Tango is a brown molly mule and Tawny is a curly molly mule.
The previous owner had not been kind to them, and tomorrow I will call Lassen County to see if I can get more information on them.
They are in with the upper herd. They received quite a welcome when they came. Juan ran into the turnout to get better acquainted. Sparkle and Ruby waited at the gate as they arrived. Most of the horses chose to ignore them after a bit, but Marnie was fascinated. He wanted to visit and get to know them. Hopefully, they will settle down tonight and have a peaceful day tomorrow.
HorsePlus Humane Society and Home At Last work closely together to try to give unadoptable equines a safe forever place to live. Thanks, Tawnee, for bringing my presents. (Can hardly wait until next year. Maybe I'll get 4 somethings).
Jim spent the day building fences. We are going to close in the front so there will be some hope of a garden. I know most folks would pen in the animals, but we love to have them roaming around. Besides, the thin ones can eat all day without being bothered by anyone.
My day was more mundane- laundry, dishes, housework and of course, feeding and watering.
Need to order Ivermectin dewormer. Anyone have any extra they'd like to send to us? We use a lot. POBox 4129 Yankee Hill CA 95965
Supposed to rain again tomorrow. Larry from Wilson's Worms hasn't been able to get his truck and trailer in yet. Tawnee got stuck and Jim and CoralBelle the tractor pulled her out.
Hope all of you had a pleasant day. Thank you for your kindnesses and support.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rain? Flies? Mud? We've Got It All

It rained- really rained last night and today. Now our flies are nice and clean. Today Bucky was a mule. He is so very cute when he acts like other critters. Thank you to Lisa A, Ruth C and Eileen G for your very generous donations. With great folks like you Home At Last can care for the many horses, donkeys and mules who live here. We were gone for a few days earlier in the month and found out how very much we love our home and ranch. We had a great time but really missed being home. How wonderful to feed and water every morning and evening and to be greeted by the animals who are really glad to see us. Of course, they are happy to see the food, but the nickers are still heart-warming. When Frankie decided to do his Oh Boy It's Feeding Time dance and Moon sidestepped his antics it started the day with a laugh. When Jet stands apart from the herd knowing full well she will get fed it makes your heart happy. When Tiger Lily follows the tractor along, then stops where she wants to eat, you know they trust you to take care of them. When little Cricket weaves in and out of the herd looking for a pile of her own it makes us feel good knowing there will be enough food for all of them. I turned 67 a week ago and I have never been happier or healthier. We don't have much money, no fancy clothes nor cars, but we have everything our hearts could want. Sparkle and Ruby have become quite demanding at feeding time. GRAIN and more GRAIN, please. Then the rest show up and there is squealing and slurping . Jonathan waits aways off so he can eat in peace. Keep those donations coming. We still owe the vet lots and vaccination time is coming. Shoppers, come on by the Thrift Shop. I know you'll find good things to buy. Next Sunday is Easter so the Sanctuary will be closed to visitors and volunteers.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday April 17 2011

Thank you, Marla, for the truckload of hay. The critters are enjoying it. Ruby and Sparkle are still out nibbling lots of food. Babe and Lacey and Bobbie were out, too. We are going to give them extra food as they are still thin. Went to Chico State's musical program last night and heard some beautiful singing. Then we went downtown for an after show snack. Chico's mounted police were patrolling on their beautiful black Shires. They had reflective tape on their legs and it looked so neat to see them marching along. Tomorrow we are going to start building people fences. We have decided it is easier to keep us in than the donkeys. Yesterday Jonathan rubbed on the propane tank wires and created a gas leak. Jim had to hussle to get the leak fixed. Oh, you donkeys are quite the rascals. Was warm today with a heavy downpour tonight. Larry from Wilson's Worms was supposed to come tomorrow and remove some manure. Don't know how the roads will be. Bucky the club-footed pony has many costumes. Sometimes he is a Thoroughbred. Sometimes a donkey. Once in a while he is a mule and occasionally he is a calf. He picks out who he wants to copy, then follows them around, trying to act like them. Today he was a mini mule. He thought he and Maggie were twins. Been carrying the camera, but forgetting to take pictures. Once I figure out how to get pictures on to the computer I'll get better about getting them to you. Eileen G has been wonderful about sending boxes of goodies for the Thrift Store. So has Deb B. Thank you so much. Thank you, also, to all those who have sent in their donations. Need to get 65 tubes of dewormer and the vet will be here soon to give innoculations. 20 shots were donated by the Unwanted Horse Coalation, but we need to buy 40 more. Any help is appreciated. You can use PayPal or mail your donation to Home At Last Sanctuary P O Box 4129 Yankee Hill CA 95965. All donations go directly to horse care and feed. Thank you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Friday

The new computer LE (Long Ears) and I are beginning to understand one another. Can't do pictures yet. Volunteers came today and helped bathe Sparkle and Ruby. They were covered with mud and muck. They looked good when we quit and they stayed out in the yard in hopes they won't roll in the mud tonight. Tomorrow we load up for Tractor Supply Company in Oroville for a Meet Sparkle Day. Tractor Supply has been very suppportive of Home At Last and we love visiting them. Sugar the hinny has now become a real lover!! It seems as though when we let them out in the yard with us the critters view us differently. Both Sugar and Jessie had been reluctant to have human contact while they were in their turn-outs, but once they got to see us while they were free we became less threatening. Even old Jonathan let me scratch his back yesterday. Posey and Bucky have not crossed the threshold to friendliness yet, however. They remain suspicious. Thank you to everyone who has been so kind with birthday greetings and general well wishes. Had a great visit in Colorado but missed the animals and we were really happy to get home. Laura stayed at the ranch and with the help of her friend Sue everyone was well cared for. Thank you, ladies. The weather remains weird- warm, sprinkly, cool. The flies are hatching, but so far the Spaulding Fly Predators are doing a good job. We are going to start fence building next week, so we can have a donkey-free garden. Right now I have NO plants. The donkeys have pruned everything to the ground. The frogs are singing and it's time to quit, so welcome back to Home At Last.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hi Everyone

We'll see if I can get this posted. Thanks to Cathy S and Ron for getting me back in the cyberworld, sort of.