Things have finally settled into warmer (read that as HOT) weather, it is surprising at how quickly everything has dried out – considering how wet it has been so far this year.

The greenhouse has exploded as have all the outdoor plantings. We’ve been eating from the garden for a couple of weeks now and I’ll be harvesting the first zucchini later this week. We moved the horses onto our neighbours pasture a few weeks ago and they really seem to be enjoying it. Until they met four other horses that were moved onto the other half of the neighbours pastures. It made for an interesting few days as much whinnying, snorting, posturing and running occurred until they worked whatever it was out. Certainly educational for me to watch the herd dynamics. Its been just over a year since our boys came to live with us and became the only two horses on the property rather than being part of a small herd of 4 or 5. Which turns out to have been good practice for them, since we are now looking after a friends horses while she gets herself relocated and her property set up for her house and her horses.

The new horses arrived on Sunday evening amidst some pretty strong winds and it took them a fair bit to settle down. Of course having the pigs racing around and playing in their ‘pen’ and the chickens jockeying for position for the night in their coop – I can’t fault them for being a bit uneasy. But by yesterday morning things were calmer and quieter. The new horses are a huge draft gelding and two mini’s – a mom & year old daughter. The baby is proving to be a bit of a challenge and a brat and she & I had some discussions yesterday about the inappropriate use of the chicken coop fencing as a butt scratching tool. The discussion itself ended with me spending the bulk of the morning putting hotwire up around the chicken fence…and her prancing off to pout. I’m just about fed up with hot wire and fencing for now – since I’ve spent three full days raising the height of the wire fence to keep the birds from flying out, stringing hotwire up around the almost 5 acres my horses are pastured on and now around the coop. Stringing the wire is relatively easy, it’s trying to get the charge from the electric unit to the actual fencing that has been the most challenging. Since I can’t dig or pound posts or grounding rods into the ground, its tough to get a good connection. It has also meant that I haven’t been able to finish painting the chicken coop, muck out the pig pen or properly weed the garden & raised beds. Housework has been limited to just the very basic basics too.

I’m also puppy sitting for a friend and I thought it would be great practice because we are getting a puppy in the late fall. Long story there  – the short version is – our pup was supposed to be here end of June. There weren’t enough males in the litter and we didn’t want a girl so now we have to wait for the next breeding to happen. Same father different mothers but from the same bloodlines…

10 week old puppy Jasper was dropped off Sunday afternoon and both Tank & Lacy  refused to interact with him, no matter how hard he tried. The cat, Jemiah hid until I brought her in for the night. She is still really unhappy with this new intruder and has been hanging out in the bedroom, venturing out only to eat, drink or go outside to hunt and hide.

Lacy does every thing she can to avoid the up and has let him know that she doesn’t want to be bothered. Of course – being only 10 weeks old – he forgets that lesson pretty quickly and keeps on trying. He’s had more success with Tank- since Tank will just lie down and ignore the pup as he climbs all over him tugging, chewing on and barking at him to  get him to play. Neither dog is impressed but they will get over it.

I’m not so sure I will though! It’s been  seven years since we had a puppy around and I’ve forgotten how energetic they can be. This isn’t a bad thing, because Jasper is really a super sweet beautiful tempered dog. It does make me question the sanity of taking on a puppy at this stage of the game. We’d really like to have a pup here to learn from Tank and to some degree Lacy too, before they get too old or ill to do so. At 10 Tank is really showing his age and in the last couple of months has been having a harder and harder time to get up & down and shows a marked increase in limping and stiffness. Of course it doesn’t help that he chases after the local fox at speeds I didn’t even know he could do. Poor old fart comes back barely able to walk. And Lacy isn’t much better especially since she had a hip/knee injury last year that has really affected her gait. It doesn’t stop her though. If it is possible for dogs to sulk, then Lacy is doing a fine job of it. She’ll come around but it will take her a few days and I’m sure that by the time she does, Jasper will be going back home with his people when they get home.

The pigs have more than quadrupled their size and are now going through a 50lb bag of feed every 2-1/2 days. The fox got a couple of my laying chickens so I picked up a couple of already laying girls on Friday and they are all settling in together now. Also very interesting to watch the chickens as they interact and move around their run during the day.

This weekend I’m finally taking the PAL course so I can legally carry a rifle when I go hunting with my brother in the fall. And somehow the days have been flying by and I am busier than ever. And for the first time I am kind of happy that my business is slow right now. I’m not sure how I could fit it all in if I was working with clients all day along with all the ‘stuff’ that has to be done around here.

But busy it is and happy I am 🙂 Except for the 3:30 or 4:00 am wake ups… have you seen how beautiful the sunrises are?

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