Friday, January 15, 2010

So why the long drought between entries?

Let’s just say sometimes life gets in the way. The girls completed their heat cycles without driving everyone completely nuts, although Bubba sure was a mental wreck! And just as Honey & Lola are finishing, Eva came into heat. Sigh- at least this was a little easier to manage. Bubba was already used to the snarkiness and isolation.

Things got busy at work with our database and the “regular” work I do. The GOOD thing about being able to work from home is that sometimes, when you need to leave a little early, you can finish up at home. The BAD thing about being able to work from home is that you have access to things that you used to be able to leave at the office until the next day… It’s a mixed blessing that I wouldn’t trade. At least this way, I don’t have to commute for hours a day. I can do a little extra work while still in my bunny slippers (or sitting on the deck on a bright sunny day!) and still have time with my family.

How many things can break at your house at the same time? Since August, we’ve had 1 minor fender bender; a truck vs deer collision; the “new” dryer broke; the 30+ year old dryer went on to appliance heaven; the refrigerator repaired 2x; new rear brakes on 1 vehicle (which now needs fronts…); well, you get the picture. I really need to get a lottery ticket- you know- the one with the 6 winning numbers…

Sometimes when your teenage kids get sick, you just have to roll with it. The sniffles, the aches, pains, low fevers… Oh wait! That might be the flu. No testing, just assume that’s what they have. When they get sick again within the month, figure it’s the next bug going around. Then the sinus infection- two rounds of antibiotics. When finally her tonsils blow up to the size of tennis balls, you gotta do something. So out they came- but then we had to have a curveball in there- she tested positive for Mono! Well- that explains all those early symptoms… So after almost 3 months, the VERY crabby, irritable, tired teenage girl is FINALLY almost back to her NORMAL crabby, irritable self! (Hey- she’s still a teenage girl after all- what else would we expect). ;)

And just when you think things can’t get any crazier, I added another variable. Or two. Ollie & Lilly are from Butcher’s. Peg picked them up in OK and I met her in IA for the hand-off. They are kin to Lola- related via Copper & Sasha. Ollie will stay with us while Lilly is at our place until she can be with her owner- however long that may be. Ollie is a very biddable, empathetic, caring pup. He is very interested in people, but also loves being out working. He has to check on us to make sure we’re ok; he doesn’t stray too far away when we’re out and about the farm. Lilly is much more independent, bossy and very willing to challenge the big dogs or the sheep. When she arrived, she would take off much farther from us than Ollie. She’s benefited from being with the Alpha Girl Pack at our house- if she hadn’t been under the tutelage of Lola & Honey, I think she would have had some bossiness issues down the road. As it is, she knows her place, but has no problem stepping up to the plate. She’s much more interested in being with us than at first and is fairly biddable. She will make a great sheep dog- loves to tell those big woolies what to do! And she delights in making the tom turkey go back into the poultry area.

There isn’t a lot to do with the livestock once the weather hits, so the dogs are on hiatus for a while. There’s always the job of holding sheep back when we’re feeding, and letting the turkeys know who the REAL bosses of the farm are, but aside from that, it’s mostly socialization and play. With the 2 young pups, 11m old Eva, and the mature dogs, it can be quite a blast to watch! The pups are learning proper pack dynamics- from how to approach a big dog; how to steal the big dog’s toy without getting reprimanded; how to share blanket space; etc. They learned the daily routines quickly. And they love being outside. The more time outside the better- regardless of the weather. Cold, snow, rain- doesn’t matter. We’ve had to keep a steady supply of towels by the doors so we can grab them and dry them off before they get too far inside.

So- no- nothing's been happening here!