Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Enough Rain

Levi II won't eat his meds so tonight Jim gave him both a pain shot and an antibiotic. What a good boy he(Levi) is.(OK Jim is good, too.) Levi let Jim know how much his foot hurt, then stood so still while he got his shots. Jim gave Levi a big hug, then Levi went over and kicked Rosie. I guess he figured he'd be nice to the guy with the needle.
Quest was in the barn so I closed him in a stall to stay dry. Boy, was he mad at me. He wouldn't eat his dinner, but he stayed in any way.
Then Callie came in. Her broken knee really pains her when it is cold and wet. If she is still so sore tomorrow we'll give her some pain meds, too. She got locked in also.
The back of the barn is open on the yard side, so Bucky and Juan, then Babe and Lacey wandered in. They all ate inside, but didn't get closed in.
The donkeys came to the front of the barn, but didn't stay.
Some of the horses had the shivers tonight. Rain and cold on May 31. Who woulda thunk it? They warmed up with a double feeding of hay.
We meet great people with wonderful jobs. The State of California has a Department of Rehabilitation with vocational counselors. They have offices in Oroville and Yuba City. If you know someone with special needs, call either 530-822-4570 or 530-538-7301 to see if they qualify for this great service.
Didn't get to the Thrift Store today as a friend needed an emergency visit to the Doctor. Will try to get in Thurs.
Rained today with more predicted for tomorrow. Everyone is getting cranky.
We need some warm sunshine to toast our bones. I know by July I'll be complaining about the heat, but right now we need sunshine. We have mud, mud, mud.
Thank you to all who help Home At Last. Your donations, support, donated items and kind words keep us going.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

This evening while feeding I called to Jonathan who was clear across the yard. He was on one side of the fence and I was on the other. He was about 50 yards away. He turned his head to me and started to walk. I told him I'd throw hay to him if he would come to the gate. Slowly, slowly, he made his way over and sure enough he got some hay. He is really beginning to trust us now. His poor old arthritic neck can't bend to the right and he can't pick up his head but he knows he's loved. Why people had to use him for roping practice I don't know. They really hurt him. He's 41 now.
Wild Bill the mule let me pet his nose yesterday. It was a through the fence pet, but a pet none the less. I'll try a little bribery soon.
It's supposed to rain again. Today was cool and windy. I think we could do without the rain for a while.
We'll tarp the goodies in the truck for the Thrift Store, then get them to Chico tomorrow. There are many, many men's clothing items.
Got a truck load of hay today. It will last through Wed. morning, then it will be time for the trailer load.
Levi II had an abscess in his foot and he and Rosie are staying in the barn til he heals. He is a very sweet boy and loves to be brushed. He does not like his medicine orally so we will be giving him pain and antibiotic shots for a couple of days. He had a diaper packed with medicine duct taped to his hoof, but that didn't last long.
Jenny and Jessie donkeys are out in the yard because the girls were getting a little thin. Now they look pregnant. Boy, are they round. They love being at liberty in the yard. We love it, too.
Dobbin donkey heads right to you when you go out. He wants his eyes and ears rubbed. He has a shaggy face and it looks like he has bushy eyebrows.
Still trying to figure out pictures, discs, and the blog. I'll get it soon, I hope.
Hope your holiday was wonderful.
http://homeatlastsanctuary.webs.com homeatlastsanctuary@gmail.com
FaceBook Donna Kyle 530-514-1439 Keep in touch. We love hearing from you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Sunday Just Love That Day

All the animals enjoyed a rain free day- lots of naps and sun baths. Even the dogs stretched out in the hay and snoozed.
Jim and I spent a good part of the day loading the truck with treasures for the Thrift Store. Men's clothing seemed to be the main items. Will take them to the Store on Tues. See you there.
Thank you, veterans, for your service. We are fortunate to have you.
Sore backs mean a long soak in the tub and an early bedtime.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thank you to our new friends Kaisa Y and Linda G who donated to Home At Last.
Every time I think it's going to be sunny enough for fly masks the clouds roll in. The flies this year are BIG. Even the little ones are big. I think they hatched Super Flies this year.
Early this morning there was frantic barking, then the wonderful smell of...... yep, skunk. Keecha must have said the wrong thing because she now smells really badly. Found a few areas of the yard that smells but no skunk so I guess the little critter made it out safely. This will be the first of the summer's smell fests.
Levi I is such a lover. While filling water tanks this morning he came for some attention. Scratch here, now there, how about under my jaw. A little to the left. Mmmmmmm. He's a real handful when he's haltered, but a gentle boy when free. He is so good to Daisy.
When we first got blind Daisy we put her in the round ring and tried several horses with her to see who would be her guide. Breeze Bay had been the guide for Happy the Appy (also blind) and she is usually a very gentle soul so we put her in first. Breeze made it very clear she had done her guide work and was done. Several other gentle horses were tried but no one wanted the job. We never thought of Levi I because he is such a rascal.
Levi has "calf knees" (his knees look like they were put on backwards) and he had been on his way to slaughter. Levi may not have been a perfect specimen for riding, but boy can he buck!!!! He leaps into the air- thereby getting the nickname of Leapazaner- all four feet way off the ground, then twists, turns and bucks before coming back down to earth. He springs up again and has new moves, head between his knees, back feet over his head and more twists and turns. He can really put on a show.Usually this is followed by some rearing and racing. Needless to say, we didn't want Daisy hurt by his antics.
Well, somehow he managed to get out of his pen and into the round ring with Daisy. He let us know he was willing to be her partner, and they have been together ever since. He gets her to romp with him, but he is careful not to run into her or hit her with his flying hooves.
Daisy is black with a white blanket and a daisy shape on her back and rump. She is sweet and gentle and about 21 yearsl old now.She was listed on Craigslist for $1.00 and angel angel named Diane rescued her. daisy went to HorsePlus, then came here, as did Levi. Levi is a sorrel and about 10. They both are round and healthy.
The Thrift Store is having a special this week. Check their FaceBook page at Home At Last Thrift and Gift. Stop by and see them at 611 Walnut Chico.
If you want to get in touch with us directly you can call 530-514-1439 or email at homeatlastsanctuary@gmail.com. We have a web page http://homeatlalstsanctuary.webs.com and are on FaceBook under Donna Kyle. You can write to us at Home At Last POBox 4129 Yankee Hill CA 95965
We are staying closed until the epidemic is over. No one is coming in or going out. That means we won't be at the Threshing Bee in Durham in June, but stop by there and see the wonderful things they have to offer.
Next Sat June 4 we will be at the fundraiser (sans horses) for Butte County Volunteer Fire Station #25. Corner of Clark Rd and Durham-Pentz Road from 10-2. OutBack restaurant is putting on a BBQ for only $10.00. See you there.
Thank you to all the men and women and their families who sacrifice so much for our country. Your service is greatly appreciated. Thank a veteran or service person whenever you see one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wild Weather!!

At lunchtime Jim asked if I knew what famous weather holiday today is. Nope, said I, falling into the same trap I've fallen into for 47 years. It's Soako de Mayo he said as the rain came pouring down on us. Then tonight two tornadoes landed in Butte County only a couple of miles from us. WOW!!! The animals headed to the barn as they hail crashed down on them. Then it was over. So much power in Nature. It's hard to imagine what the poor folks who have big tornadoes go through. It must be terrifying for both people and animals.
It's hard for us to believe there are still some folks who are going to transport and show their horses with the viral epidemic that's going on. Last year's strangles outbreak here affected 30 of our horses and killed three. It's too high a price to pay for a show. I know a lot of money is involved, but somewhere along the line owner responsibility should take over. Please, folks, think of your animals first. There is always another show. Isn't your animal worth your care and consideration?
Our friend Tom died last Sunday on his wife's birthday. Thank you, Grace, for making a donation in his memory. Thank you, also, to Lorie H for your donation. Carla G sells jewelry and donates the proceeds to Home At Last. Thank you Carla. Spaulding Flies gives a donation to Home At Last when folks buy their fly predators and mention us. Thank you Spaulding, Ruth C and Carol O.
Tomorrow I see friend Holley. She makes whimsical metal animals that she gives to us to sell. If you are interested in buying one let me know. She makes animals and people. No two are the same. They are cute and a real conversation piece. We have one at the ranch and one in the Thrift Store. Call me to see what is available. 530-514-1439.
Levi II and Rosie are in the barn for a while. Levi started to loose some weight and we are giving him extra rations. He won't go anywhere without his Rosie so they are in a double stall together.
We thought Rosie might have Cushings because her hair stayed so long and clumpy, but today I brushed her with a really soft brush and she is finally shedding. We had another Kiger mustang, Sweet, who did the same thing. Clumpy hair then when he shed he was almost bald until his new coat grew in. Is that a Kiger trait? Stuart doesn't do that and he's a Kiger, too.
Rosie and Levi will join four of our others at the summer pasture when we can move the horses. We won't do a thing until we get Dr Darling's OK.
The frogs are serenading us now so it must be bedtime. I hope this crazy weather settles down soon, but I must admit to liking rain and mud more than I like heat and flies. Supposed to get warmer and warmer now.
Lake Oroville is full and beautiful. Saw a water skier in the rain. I guess if you're going to get wet anyway, it doesn't matter.
Please, take your donations to the Thrift Store and plan to spend some time and money there. Lots of good things to buy.
Are you saving your coins for Home At Last?

Monday, May 23, 2011

The computer and Blogger are having an arguement and I'm losing. Could publish a couple of old pictures but then everything froze. Hope I can post this.
Dancer, Star and Quest had their masks off first thing. Dunny seems real proud of his and Frankie and Moon seem relived to have those pesky flies out of their eyes.
Toby and Tango had a great romp this morning. They zipped around like lightning. Toby is everyone's buddy. He just walks up and eats with any one. If they put their ears back at him, he just ignores them. After all he's got bigger ears.

Maggie continues to be at the gate patiently waiting for us. She gets fed about 6-8 times a day. Sometimes Quest chases her away but we try to sneak her the food when no one is around. Her coat is shaggy and not shedding off. Will try to use new pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Birthday, Fly Masks and A Question

Had a great time at Jim's folks. Hope when I'm 90 I can still make birthday dinners for my family.
Put fly masks on 9 horses today. Have 15 masks left but need
3 drafts
4 larges
13 mediums
2 mules
4 donkeys
3 ponies
1 mini
If you have an extra or an older mask in good shape the animals here would appreciate them. Or if you are buying new ones could you buy one extra for us?Not everyone gets a mask, because not everyone is catchable.
We are really working on fly control, but those pesky creatures love the eyes.
Dancing Drum had her mask off before I could get out of her yard. I put it back on. We'll see how long she'll wear it. Quest usually has his off in a couple of hours. He really needs one because of his immature, undeveloped eye. Moon Dancer needs one, too, because she is loosing sight in her good eye and needs protection, and blind Daisy needs one, too. The lighter skinned horses seem to have a worse time with flies, though Smokey who is a dappled chocolate color is really allergic to them. He gets hives from their bites.
Going to try to get masks on the donkeys this year. Now that they are trusting us more, we may be able to do it. Last year they had sores around their eyes that we could not treat.
Are you saving your change for Home At Last? Pennies for Ponies. Nickles for Nickers. Dimes for Daisy and Quarters for Quarter horses (and Haflingers and whole horses).
Question. How do I move pictures from the computer to a disc? How do I get the pictures on the disc back to the computer to use? How do I get any information back and forth? I'm sooooo confused. Want to get pictures back on the blog.
Had a lady stop today to ask about volunteering. She had heard about us and has horse experience. It's great when folks want to help, but we had to tell her for now no visitors, especially those who are around other horses.
Heard from a friend in So Cal who said a therapeutic school there had heard good things about Home At Last. Makes us happy to know that the word is out about the sanctuary. Thanks for the news, Debra.
We now have planted trees, seeds and flowers. More needed, but have to get the rest of the yard prepared.
We have some of the best and biggest cobwebs, way up high in the house. Did you know house spiders are called cobs, hence cobwebs? I wonder if little spiders are given lessons as to their career choices . They can be inside, outside, in the barn, under the house, in trees in the grass. Do some have fear of heights so they stay lower? Do some have agoraphobia so they go inside? Hmmmm. So many things I don't know. Do little spiders have big dreams of becoming tarantulas?
Be sure to visit the Thrift Shop. There are always good things to buy. Buy lots!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Odds N Ends

Thank you to Ruth C, Dina F and to the Senior Class of the Home Tech School in Paradise for their donations. What a wonderful surprise!! Thank you, too, to Anonymous who has been saving her change and sent 12 rolls of coins. It really added up. It's a great way to support Home At Last. Go to the Dollar Store, get a bag of coin wrappers and start saving. You won't miss the change and the horses will benefit. Thank you again to everyone who helps the horses.
Our backs will be aching tomorrow. Jim carried a ton of rocks to make planters, then scooped muck and manure so I could fill the planters. I pitchforked the muck and planted. Lots of seeds and tomatoes and eggplants are in. Fairly warm today. Supposed to rain again Sun and Wed. The flies are very happy.
Feisty cat is asleep on my purse. His little head is inside the purse and his paws are holding on to it. It's really cute.
We are holding off on making plans for the Threshing Bee at Patrick's Ranch. It's always fun to be there, but not sure yet when the epidemic will be over. Congratulations to all the horse owners who have decided to miss shows and keep their horses safe. It may be an over-reaction, but isn't a horse's life worth missing a show or two?
There are hundreds of polywogs (tadpoles?) in the pond. They are so much fun to watch. We have a toad or two, but seldom see them.
Here is a list of critters we have taken( who are still living) from NorCal HorsePlus. We are proud to be associated with them. Donkeys-Jonathan & Dobbin. Mules -Tucker, Wild Bill, Juan, Callie, Lady Bug, Molly, Toby, Tango and Tawny. Hinny- Posey . Ponies -Lucky, Cricket, Bucky, Sweetie Pie. Horses- Dancing Drum, Star, Promise, Charity, Levi I, Daisy, Cash, Bo, Ginger, Sugar II, Stuart, Rosie, Skittles, Tess, Amira, Leeso, Smoke, Navajo, Stony, Tiger Lily, Chance, Jesse, Aurora, Sunny, Sparkle, Kim. Calves -Banjoe and Julian. Goats- Mr S, Zang and Grey. If I've missed someone, sorry.
A friend is in Hospice care and it makes our worries seem trivial. Enjoy the time you have with the people you care about. Do good works and try to bring happiness. Another friend once told us, The good die young no matter how old they are.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Success Story Part 2

Some of the animals who come to Home At Last have serious physical injuries. Juan the mule came with a back hoof that was completely upside down. The bottom of his hoof pointed up toward the sky and he walked on his leg.
We don't know what happened to him, but most probably he caught his hoof while he was in motion and tore the ligament. That left his foot unsupported and he had to make do as best he could. It must have been terribly painful.
Juan is an older boy in his late 20's or 30's. The tendon was still barely attached at the hoof level, but Dr. Darling felt that if we couldn't do something for him we would have to put him down. Once the ligament completely detached there would be nothing left to do.
Farrier Aaron Hamon, Dr D and Jim spent a lot of time talking about what to do. Finally, they decided on a specially made set of shoes to help his foot return to a more normal stance. Aaron fabricated the necessary shoes.
The shoes were made with a rocker and spikes on the bottom so Juan could begin to roll his hoof over. It took many months and many shoes, but now Juan walks almost normally. He trots and canters if the mood strikes him. He is not in pain. He has gained weight and loves to be petted.
Often he'll stand with his head against our chest, eyes closed and just soaks up all the love he can get. He is one of the "loose" critters in the back yard.
Juan is one example of why we have a sanctuary. He deserves, as do all the others, to live a pain free, peaceful and well-cared for retirement. He has great dignity and is so full of love that almost every visitor gets a warm mule welcome. Those long ears invite scratches and that graying face needs lots of gentle rubs.
We often hear, "I've never met a mule before. I thought they would be stubborn or hard to be around. Now I love mules."
Juan has a good life. You have helped him and others to continue to live the life they deserve. Thank you. We need your support to do what we do.
There is a serious equine virus on the rampage and after last year's terrible epidemic of strangles we are taking no chances. The sanctuary will be closed for an unspecified time until the vet tells us it is OK to reopen. No new horses will be allowed in and we will not be moving any to other pastures. We will not have visitors, either. After having 30 horses sick last year and 3 dying we take any illness seriously.
We are looking at a golf tournament as a fundraiser. How many of you would be willing to spend $65 for a round of golf and dinner? How many would rather just send us $30 and call it good?
Thank you for your support and caring. Because of the bad economy and rising gas and therefore hay prices, the need is becoming critical to find homes for more and more unwanted horses. Many of the horses are not unwanted, but their owners are no longer able to care for them
One of our critics told us we were foolish to spend money-actually waste was the word used, on old, injured, useless, unwanted horses. When we see Juan and his friends enjoying the good hay, the warm sunshine and each other's company we don't feel foolish at all. We feel blessed to have them in our lives. They may be old. They may be injured. But they certainly ARE NOT useless and unwanted.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rain? Lots of Rain!!

The rain stopped long enough for us to feed this morning and evening, but it poured the rest of the night and day.
There were shivery horses this morning, but lots of good hay helped keep them warm.
The equine virus outbreak should make us all very careful where we go and what we do with our horses. After going through the strangles last fall and losing 3 to the disease we are very cautious. Will need vet checks for every incoming animal.
Happy Birthday to our good friend Tawnee at HorsePlus.
Thank you to Sarah H for your donation to Home At Last.
Jim left at 3 AM to take a friend to the airport and we were both exhausted all day. The cats and I sat in the rocking chair and dozed. Mac dog spent the day on the rug and Patches had his usual spot in front of the heater.
More rain due tonight and tomorrow and then it will get hot. Should have a great flock of flies.
The mud is thick again and horses are slipping and sliding. There are some really grumpy animals. I think they blame me for the crummy weather.
Stay dry and warm. Soon I'll be saying stay cool. Oh well. Mother Nature has a strange sense of humor.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Success Stories Part 1

There are many ways we count successes at Home At Last. One of the major ones is to have a horse, donkey or mule live its life like it should. A herd animal needs a herd. There is a safety factor, yes, in being in a herd, but there are good psychological reasons, too.
To be able to eat with a friend, to stand head to tail and swat flies, to nap while someone stands guard and to gallop full speed with your herdmates is natural. To be a horse you must be with horses. The animal learns socially acceptably behavior. It learns to play horse games. It learns patience and respect.
When Cash the Thoroughbred came three years ago, he only knew about standing in a stall and racing. He is a big beautiful boy over 20 years old. He is graying in his face and is quite statuesque.
He did not like to be brushed nor did he want to be in the pasture. The first time we tried to put him out, he took one look at the turn-out and stomped back to his stall.
We introduced him to Breeze Bay and Jesse-one on each side of his barn stall. Since they shared outside space with a fence between them, he learned about having neighbors. Soon, they were nickering and grooming one another, so we put Breeze and Jesse in the turn-out. Cash went in willingly. Jesse has been moved to another turn-out but Breeze and Cash are still very close.
When one of them naps, the other is standing near-by. Yesterday with the cold and snappy weather, they raced, reared and bucked together. Frankie is next door and the two boys often play bite your knees and neck through the fence.
Cash is still not fond of brushing but tolerates it. I think because Breezey loves human attention Cash is beginning to like it, too.
Cash was not a happy boy when he came to Home At Last, but I don't think you can find a more joyful horse anywhere now. He looks and acts like a healthy being. His retirement is what we hope for every animal here. To be loved, cared for, healthy and happy- a good quality of life- is our goal.
Some of the animals who come here are here only for a short time. They come ill, abused, starved, mistreated and we strive to make each moment the best it can be. We stress quality of life over the quantity. That means we want them to live the best life they can, but will not allow suffering. Our vet, Dr Darling, takes an active part in our determination of the quality of life.
Cash is a success story because he responded so well to his life here. He has a great quality of life in a natural setting for a horse.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rainy Sunday

Five hard working volunteers braved the bad weather and worked and worked and worked. Thanks Mal, Jess, Laura, Sarah and Scott. The old calf and mini mule fence was taken down and the center aisle of the barn was cleaned. Whew!!
Our new policy is to have volunteers only once a month. Will let you know next month's date later.
Quest and Lacey have started a grooming session or two. We are glad that Lacey is finding a friend because Babe is still looking very thin. Teeth are good and she eats all day, but she still has not recovered the weight she lost with the strangles last Fall. Her coat is thin and not real healthy looking. She is an old girl and we are watching her carefully.
Brian was able to pet the new mule, Toby, this week-end. The girls, Tango and Tawny, are still shy, but very curious. Hopefully, they'll learn to trust us, too.
Several horses had the shakes this morning as it was 35 degrees cooler today than yesterday. The wind and rain didn't help either. Everyone got a double feeding.
The backyard is fenced now, but needs permanent gates. We still need to build a yard for fruit trees and a couple more smaller turnouts. Then we will move manure and straw into the yards and begin our plantings. The critters who are loose do not like being closed out of the yard, but I think our plants will appreciate them being elsewhere.
Thank you to Ursula and Walt C for their continued support and to anonymous (you know who you are) for the very generous donation.
Please, continue taking donations to the Thrift Store and to shop, shop, shop. The store is beautifully laid out and there are always treasures to find. There is a lot of clothing, books, housewares and much more.
The Sanctuary could use your support, too. POBox 4129 Yankee Hill CA 95965 or use PayPal at the top of the blog.
Have your friends check our blog and our website http://homeatlastsanctuary.webs.com If we could get everyone to find one, two or more supporters it would be great.
Dr Darling was here both Friday and Sat. No emergencies. He was in the neighborhood and thought he'd stop by to see if we needed anything. Is that a great vet or what?
A strange weather week predicted. Glad the sweatshirts are still available.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Yesterday Was Special

Laura invited me to Handi-Riders yesterday and it was special. The riders, volunteers and of course the the horses, Roy, Honey and Pepe were the stars. Handi-Riders is a non-profit organization serving the needs of the physically and mentally challenged with therapeutic horseback riding.
Each rider is paired with a suitable mount and volunteers are there to make sure everyone is safe.
Danny Cuneo is the executive director who was giving instructions and leading the fun. The children were thrilled and the horses and ponies so proud of their riders.
If you want to see a special relationship between horse and rider or of you want to volunteer for this worthy cause call Danny at 530-533-5333 0r her cell is 530-990-7997.
It was the end of the Spring session and everyone received this beautiful poem by John Anthony Davies called I Saw A Child
I saw a child who couldn't walk
Sit on a Horse then laugh and talk-
Then ride it through a field of daisies
And yet he could not walk unaided.
I saw a child with no legs below,
Sit on a horse and make it go-
Through woods of green and places he'd never been,
To sit and stare except from a chair.
I saw a child who could only crawl,
Mount a horse and sit up tall-
Put it through degrees of paces
And laugh at the wonder in our faces.
I saw a child born into strife
Take up and hold the reins of life-
And that same child I heard him say
Thank God for showing me the way.

Thanks Handi-Riders for making the day a little brighter for so many.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Where Do I Live?

Spent more time in the garden than I planned since the driveway was blocked with macadam from the road paving on Hiway 70. The chickens and guineas enjoyed all the weeds. More seeds in the ground.
Wanted to get a real mailbox, but was told I had to prove to the post office that I really lived where I said I did. That got me thinking. Who else would live with 60 horses, donkeys and mules? If I show the post office bills sent to me they have the post office box number on the bills and I don't live in the post office box. We don't have neighbors who can swear I live here. Tax records have my address, but if I was dishonest enough to want an illegal mailbox I guess I could fake the tax records. Even my driver's license has the post office box number on it. I'm beginning to think I really don't live here.
Once when my granddaughter was little we went to a bank and they wanted me to verify who I was. I said to Beth, "Tell them who I am." She said, "That's my Grandma." They laughed and accepted that. Maybe I'll have to fly her in from Colorado and have her tell the post office where I live. Maybe I'll have them look at the blog and the webpage http://homeatlastsanctuary.webs.com.
All this is making me wonder if I'll have to prove I am dead when I die.
As Winnie the Pooh said, "All this thinking hurts my head."
Had a new key made for the truck-$112.00!!!! Will try VERY hard not to loose this one. Maybe I'll hook it to a horseshoe or an inner tube.
Oscar the Grouch was waiting in the trash can when I arrived at the Thrift Store and he really wanted the old bedraggled Christmas tree, so he got it. Merry Christmas, Oscar. The other very much appreciated items went into the store.
The Store needs volunteers, especially on the week-ends. Can anyone work on Sat or Sun.? My days are getting so filled that I can't always make it in.
It is supposed to rain on Sun. We'll still have a work day unless the thunderstorms make it too dangerous to be outside. Call first to make sure. 530-514-1439
We are more convinced than ever that having the animals in the yard with us makes them much more comfortable with people. Posey. Maggie B, and Bucky still do not let us walk up to them and catch them or pet them, but they do not run away if we walk past them. They nicker at mealtime and may even take a treat from our hands.
Going to Handi-Riders tomorrow to watch Laura and Roy. Handi-Riders offers riding therapy for children with physical difficulties. Roy is a pony who gives lessons to little ones. Laura is the friend and volunteer who helped Sparkle.
OK. Now I have the disc with my pictures, and I even put it in the slot. Can't find my other records and don't know what to do with the disc information. Oh, the indignities of not knowing what to do. Add that to not knowing if I really live here and I could get really befuddled.
We are so grateful to all our supporters. We still need lots of help paying our vet bill. It's way over $2000.00 since our vaccination day. Only 20 vaccines were donated this year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Terrific Tuesday

Put on a pair of pants that were a little short. With sweatshirt and shoes it was a lovely look. When Jim poked a little fun at the odd combination I told him he was just jealous because I would have tan calves and he wouldn't. Of course, today was the day that Larry from Wilson's Worms came to get more manure and Aaron and Amy came to set Bucky's shoe. Did I care that I looked like the backwoods bumpkin that I am? Nope. Just went on with the day like I had good sense.
Jim had to maneuver the trailers so he could get a load of hay. Another 92 bales for the week. It may stretch a little farther since so many are off to "Summer Camp." Thanks, everyone who has horses on their pastures.
I moved hay and manure into the front and planted some seeds. Still need tomato and eggplant plants, but want to get the ground ready for them. Maybe our volunteers on Sunday will help.
Going to take the goodies to the Thrift Store tomorrow, even the old scraggly fake Christmas tree. I'm sure someone out there really needs one. They could have an old time tacky holiday. I'll be on the look out for a raggedy aluminum tree, too, in case that is a better choice. The ornaments that came with it are really pretty, though.
Had friends call to come to dinner. When we were living in the motor home while our house was being built I called Rod and Karen and asked them to dinner. When they said, "What are we having?" I told them whatever they brought. It is now a standing joke that they call to say they are coming and what they are bringing.
This time, however, we will cook. They did want something special, though. They are bringing their pick-up and want it filled with manure. That is something we can do. We have an unending supply.
A Banty hen is sitting on eggs. She sits on anyone's eggs even the guinea's. I hope they hatch for her. A couple of years ago she hatched some guineas and had to look up to them as they grew. They barely fit under her wings. I wonder if the guineas remembered her on Mother's day.
Tonight as we got ready to feed, Quest called to Jim, then walked over to him for a pet. It was really cute. We remember the day Quest knew he was home and loved. It was when we had only a few horses-17- and everyone had their own bucket. We would put the buckets out for each horse. On this particular day Quest looked at us, at the pan and then moved about ten steps away and nodded his head. He knew we would put the food where he wanted it. He seemed to relax and enjoy his life so much more after that. Now he is just a big pet.
TV has so many shows that the ranch could copy. The donkeys could sing on the Voice. The goats could Dance With the Stars or maybe Kids Say the Darnedest Things. The chickens and guineas could be on America's Got Talent. The whole crew could be on America's Funniest Videos. Of course, I could be on The Biggest Loser. I have lost the last set of car keys we had and post office box keys. The address book I lost two years ago was found in the china cabinet where we keep our books. Now who would be dumb enough to put an address book in a bookcase? Me, of course. Lost one set of keys in the motor home and never did find them. Haven't found the last set yet and it's been three weeks. They're gone. Sparkle could be on Survivor.
Tomorrow is busy. Will be away from the ranch doing all sorts of chores. Jim will stay home and work on fencing, manure moving and maybe a little housekeeping.
The frogs are singing and the tadpoles are swimming so it must be time to go to bed.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wonderful Monday

Today was one of those really great- really really great days where nothing special happened but everything that happened was wonderful. The horses were happy to see breakfast, but not starving because there was still some food left from last night. The new mules-Toby, Tawny and Tango- nicker hellos now.
The lower water tank needs filling every morning and it is so peaceful to sit there while the water gurgles out into the tank. The ducks usually leave when the tractor comes, but the other birds and butterflies stay. The dogs snoof around or just sit with me.
Jim had to leave to do some preparation for the school board-where he is a member, so I had the place to myself for a while. Then Larry from Wilson's Worms came to continue the manure removal. We had a nice visit, then he went to work and I started drying the items that were in the back of the truck when the rain came last night. Think I got everything dried OK.
Glad no one was around to give style points for clambering in and out of the bed of the truck.
Maggie B and Quest made regular visits to the gate for grain and Bucky and Sugar came occasionally.
During the filling of the big stock tank in the upper turn-out I groomed Rosie, Stuart and Levi II. We are watching Rosie because she may be starting into Cushings. She really loved having the under side of her neck brushed. Stuart thought I should only brush him and would stand with his head on the back of whomever I was brushing so I would notice him.
When I got to the calves they gave many kisses while their tank was filling. I didn't know about cattle until we had the boys. They are sweet, loving and very aware of lots of things. To call something stupid like a cow is way off. They recognize the vet and have not forgiven him for their shots and neutering. When Dr Darling comes they refuse to come to him.
Frankie was dozing while I watered him, but Moon Dancer came over for some attention.
The goats followed me while I was in their yard. They insist on pets and scratches.
During this time the clouds would come and go and I was afraid maybe all the drying items would get wet again. It stayed dry and warm all day.Everything dried and got covered for the trip to the Thrift Store this week.
Still had daytime left so the garden got some weeding. Dogs helped.
Love these long afternoons and evenings. Makes me feel guilty, though, if I'm not working at something. Love cold dark winter nights, too.
Check FaceBook (under Donna Kyle) to see the Toyota Home At Last is hoping to win.
Last night every critter who is in the backyard-Jenny, Jessie, Jonathan, Dobbin, Callie, Juan, Quest, Maggie B, Sugar, Posey, Bucky, Gracie, Babe and Lacey- were standing around the bales of hay eating. I told Jim it looked like the Last Supper, so now we are calling that group The Disciples.
Thank you Eileen G for your continued and valued support.
I hope all of you have a Tuesday that is as wonderful as my Monday was.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Spent some time with Jim's wonderful mom today. Their neighbor has a friend who works at an antique store and he donated a truckful of special items for the Thrift Store. Will get them down there sometime this week.
When you work in a rescuing capacity you get to meet so many great and caring people. Margaret has horses in her pasture for us every summer. Aurora, Sunny, Chardonnay and Kim are there for a few months.
Lin and Darrel have graciously offered their pastureland to some of our horses. Sparkle, Ruby, Jesse and Bobbie are there now and Tues. we'll take more down.
Lin and Darrel volunteer for Butte County Volunteer Fire Company 25. On Sat June 4 there will be a BBQ from 10-2 at the Clear Creek Crossing Gas Station and Store- Corner of Durham Pentz Highway and Clark Rd, right near Butte College. There will be emergency vehicles to see. Come on out and have a great day while supporting the Volunteers.
Next Sunday May 15 will be a volunteer workday at Home At Last. Fences need tearing down and rebuilt, manure needs moved to the garden, rocks need to be moved and planters built. If you have time from 10-2 and are ready to work hard come on out. Bring water and lunch. Call first so we know how many will be here. 530-514-1439 Wear appropriate shoes and maybe a hat. Hope to see you Sunday.
Sugar and Gracie have become grooming buddies. They both have needed a friend and it's good to see them together.
Today was cooler and the horses frolicked all day. The games of Get Your Knees and Bite Your Bottom were played by many.
Folks who stop at the Thrift Store for the first time are amazed at the number of really good items that are there. They comment on how nice the store looks and how well it is organized. Helen and Ron have done an outstanding job. Come by 611 Walnut Chico Tues-Sun and see for yourself. Volunteers are still needed. Call 712-7777 to find out where to get your application. Check their FaceBook page Home At Last Thrift and Gift.
Another week is starting. I hope it is full of happiness and surprises (good ones) for you.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Busy Saturday

After feeding and watering this morning Jim, Brian and Linda got the swamp cooler working. The past few days have been warm, but the hot ones are coming. Jim helped Larry from Wilson's Worms. Lots of manure got moved. Lots more to go. Then Jim took care of the myriad of ranch chores that needed to be done, including putting out 600 pounds of salt (12 fifty pounders). The horses gathered around the blocks like office workers gather around the water cooler.
While he was doing that I went to Chico for a truckload (20 bales) of hay, then over to the Thrift Store. Many folks came in to browse and shop. Tell your friends. We have great deals and the best prices. Something for everyone-even the La Crosse team members.
A new volunteer Marissa worked all day as did Janee and Josh.
When I got home we loaded Sparkle and Ruby so they could go to a wonderful summer pasture. Tomorrow we will take three more.
Tomorrow is Mother's Day. A big thank you to all you women who love, mentor and care for others. You are very special and deserve much more than one day. My mom is no longer with us but a big I Love You to Jim's mom. Where would we be without moms?
Bobbie felt poorly after her shots so she is among the outside herd now. We will move the calves from Cow Jail to a turnout when we get some time on Sunday or Monday.
It's late. I'm tired. Good-night.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hay From The Sky

Today was a VERY busy day. Dr Darling and Kelly arrived about 8:30 as did Aaron, Amy, Su, Jerry, Art and Laura. Then the fun began. Aaron, Amy and I caught horses while Art held them. When the shots, dental exams, physical exams and weights were done, Aaron did a hoof check and trimmed those who needed it.Then Amy and I caught horses. Over 40 horses were treated today.
The rhythm of the way was Catch Hold Weigh Dental Shots Trim Repeat. Only 2 were rascals and wouldn't let us catch them-Amira and Pearl. Oh, Laura's job was to catch and contain little Gracie. That was not as easy as is sounds. Jerry and Su maintained the records.
There was lots of good news. Sparkle weighs over 900 pounds and is doing very well. Quest and Bobbie had been on our Watch List but are now doing so well they are off it. Levi II's feet are doing well. Jake weighs over 1400 pounds! The two critters who are usually difficult stood like gentlemen. Thanks Levi I and Tucker. Frankie and old Cash felt so good they gave Amy a run for her money.
I had put most of the lower herd in the barn for breakfast so catching them was
not a problem, although Sweetie Pie, Leeso and Smoke let Aaron have some fun with them.
On the sad side we now have several horses on our Watch List. The Watch List means we have real concerns about their condition and quality of life. We watch them closely. On our list is Babe, Moon Dancer, Rosie, Tiger Lily and Tess. All had good dental check-ups, have lots of food and they are just not maintianing their weight.
Several of the horses are not due for their shots until October so we didn't have to do anything other than the exams. Thanks, everyone. Believe it or not we were done in less than 3 hours.! Teamwork really works. I wonder if anyone else is as tired as I am?
Life on a ranch is always risky and this morning while feeding I had a really close call. The hay trailer is where the loose critters can nibble on it. Well, they had nibbled the stack to a dangerous tilt. Jim had been concerned so he put a packing strap around it. When I walked by it next to the electric fence I felt the ground shake. I realized that is was the hay and it was coming down where I was. My mind kept going hay-fence hay-fence where do I go? By then the hay was coming down and I shouldered it away from me and ended with only a few arm scratches. The packing straps had kept most of it to the front, not the side. Whew!! Next load goes outside the fence where nibbling cannot take place. It will make feeding a little more difficult, but will definitely be safer.
Going to work at the Thrift Store tomorrow. Come by and say Hi. Sunday we are going to see Jim's mom. Sanctuary will be closed.
Thanks again to everyone who makes Home At Last a great place for horses (and donkeys and mules and calves and goats and dogs and cats and birds).

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Silly Computer

Our computer will not stay connected. Cannot always post blog or FaceBook.
All is going well. Tomorrow is vet day and it should be an all morning event. Aaron the farrier will be here to trim those who need it after they get their vaccines.
Maggie and Quest bang at the gate on a regular basis. Letting Maggie have many small meals a day has helped her gain some weight. Many small meals makes Quest a happy boy.
Toby mule is trying hard to trust us. He comes to the fence and nickers.Then smiles sweetly for his food.
Chardonnay, Aurora, Sunny and Kim are enjoying their time in Margaret's lush fields. Friday more will visit another grassy field. It is so nice when the horses get to have a real "summer vacation."
Larry from Wilson's Worms will be here Sat to remove our stockpile of manure. It helps us to get rid of it and helps him feed his wiggly friends.
Bought seeds yesterday and hope to get the garden started soon.
Had a hard time finding zucchini seeds.
Thanks again for your care and concerns. We are making headway on our clean-up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Clear Up & Clean Up

Last night the computer would not come on. It also says I can't post any pictures til I put them on a disk. As you know my skills are minimal, so I'll write-pictureless- until I acquire more skills.
We are in the midst of cleaning up and rebuilding. So many of our animals like to test fences and try to be where "the grass is greener." We have a lot of hay on the ground that needs moving to the upcoming garden.
Our after- Winter chores are keeping us really busy. We will be moving a few horses to their "summer camp" where they get to graze on sweet grass for a little while.
The vet is coming Friday and shots and check-ups will be given.
The Thrift Store really needs volunteers. Please, contact Helen and Ron if you can help. 530-712-7777.
Quest has been enjoying his freedom. He strolls up to us whenever he sees us. A scratch here or there and he's a happy boy.
Maggie B figured out how to open the gate and was clip clopping in the breezeway again. A chain around the post seems to have stopped her for now. She does, however, pound on the gate several times a day. She gets food each time (I know we are rewarding bad behavior but we figure she is telling us when her tummy is empty.) She can't eat hay and doesn't eat much at one time. Her several feedings a day without competition are helping her gain weight.
Posey and Bucky are still standoffish, but at least they don't run now if we walk by them.
Thank you to all our dear friends who expressed concerns about our liability issues. As you know, insurance companies are not horse friendly and we want to be way above compliance when it comes to safety. We have had no problems. We want to stay that way. Thank you for your understanding and continuing support.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No Pictures Today

The computer decided to take forever to load pictures then wouldn't send it to the blog, so once again you will have to use your imagination.
Jim was up way early because I couldn't breathe last night-that means I was snoring terribly- then I couldn't sleep because I couldn't breathe-headache and lack of breath. I got up at 4:30 and he went back to bed at 5.
We got a new load of hay yesterday and I guess we are allergic to it. Nothing new. We both have allergies to hay, cats, etc. Just adds a dimension to running a sanctuary.
Speaking of yesterday what a great time we had at the Gold Nugget Day Parade. There were only 2 horse entries, but lots of floats and great old cars. There is nothing like a parade to bring a community together. We didn't visit the rest of the activities, because ranch chores needed attention, but thank you to all who make the Gold Nugget Days a success.
There was an actual gold nugget weighing 54 pounds found near Magalia in 1854 (I think) and the celebration remembers those Gold Rush times. If you have never visited the museum in Paradise, it is really worth seeing. It is on Pearson Rd.
Today we will be at the Horsemen's Arena off Clark Rd. Sparkle and Ruby will be going, too. Stop by from 12-4 and say Hi. There is always a lot to see. Gold Nugget Days continue in Paradise proper with vendors and all sorts of food. Food at the Horsemen's Arerna, too. There is a dog park next door.
Hay prices are going up. Our grower Lyle Livingston is always so good to us, but he needs to make a living, too. He stores the hay for us so we have a year's supply without having to worry bout where the next load comes from. Using 10-12 bales a day means we use A LOT of hay. Thanks, Lyle. Without you we couldn't care for the critters.
A gal called from So Cal and said she was paying $22 a bale for grass hay that she had to pick up in the field herself. Whew!! At least it's not that bad here. Our prices will go up about $1.50 per bale. That means we will be needing lots more help from all of you.
Here are some ways you can support Home At Last. 1. Have a garage sale and donate all or part of your sales. 2. Clean out your house, garage, barn, tack room or store and donate the items to the Thrift Store. 611 Walnut Chico. 3. Have a bakeless bake sale and send the money that you would have spent on supplies to Home At Last. 4. Adopt a horse, donkey, mule, calf or goat and send a monthly check or paypal. Any amount helps. Enough $5.oo regular contributions would
make a big difference. 5. Buy a bag of feed and drop it off- horse, dog, cat chicken- it all helps. That way you could meet the animals, too.6. Buy a Tractor Supply Company gift card and sent it to Home At Last. 7. Make a cute donation jar and take it to work. Send the collection monthly. 8 Spread the word about what we do and have others support the critters. 9. Shop at the Thrift Store. 10. Make donations on the name of your friends. 11.Buy an ad supporting Home At Last and/or the Thrift Store. 12. Make Home At Last a Brownie, Cub Scout, Girl Scout, Boy Scout, BlueBird, Church class, classroom project. Think of ways to help the animals through donations of money or time. 13. Make friends and family aware of your support and encourage them to support us, too.
There are no paid employees at the ranch. Every penny goes directly to animal care.
Because of rising gas prices and rising hay prices there will be even more unwanted horses. When folks can no longer afford to feed and care for their animals we get an increased number of calls to help. We have over 60 horses, donkeys and mules and are just about to our limit. We need help to help others. We are not as exciting as our dear friends who do the actual rescues. We love and commend them for all they do. They help so many wonderful animals. We get the animals who are unadoptable, but still have a quality of life. We are the quiet back-up for these animals, but we need your support to allow them to live a good life.
If all of you good folks who help us could get 10 or 5 or even one more person to support us it would be wonderful.
Thank you in advance for your continued support.