Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tough Turkeys, Pregnant Sheep, Growing Pups

Just some new photos from my morning out on the pasture. The guy below is our one red rooster. Seeing as the reds are egg layers, this one was a surprise. But out of 50 hens, we only had one mistaken rooster. He crows in the morning sometimes. I really like him, he's got pretty green feathers in his tail. The problem will be when the girls start to lay, we will have to separate him. To me, that means putting him in the barn, or maybe in the fence with the sheep. To Larry, that means going in the stew pot. :(

When we move the chicken fence, we have to mow the fenceline, or the electric fence will fry the grass. We used the mower today, also to pull the chicken house to its new spot. We let the mower sit for a minute, and the chickens and turkeys swarmed it. They have to check out anything new in case it's food. Silly birds!
They'll eat anything. The turkeys especially love my wedding ring and peck at it all the time. They haven't figured it out yet.
Here are two Toms having a little discussion over who's tougher. We figured out who the turkey king is. It's the one with no poop on his tail. It's hard to tell from this picture, but their gobbles are turning really red, and their faces are turning PURPLE! But they look like turkeys now, don't they!
This is a female turkey. Just checking me out.
I turned around to head to the barn to get more chicken feed... and I turned around and found that all the turkeys were following me. Silly birds, indeed!
Here are the sheep. Laverne is doing yoga to scratch her ear. You can't tell from this picture, but we believe Laverne is pregnant. Shirley might be, too. We have no way of really knowing. But Laverne is a big girl. We think it might be twins . These sheep can have 1 to 3 lambs at a time, so who knows! We'll see in winter what comes out!Hi Atlas! No, the chicken food isn't for you, either!

Here are the boys having a moment. They are trying to plan what to do next... chase horses, chase chickens, chase turkeys, eat chicken food, play with Athena... so much fun to be had as a puppy!

Let's go get HOBBES!

Now that the puppies are almost the same size as him, Hobbes is willing to play with them. They had a good romp this morning and chased each other, rolled about in the pasture and wrestled until they were all so tired, they just collapsed.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dirty Doggies

I came home from work on Friday, and Larry had let the dogs out of the sheep enclosure. Next thing I know, I see these two dogs, with PITCH BLACK legs wandering the front yard. Yup, it was Atlas and Goliath just filthy. Here is Atlas, looking pathetic as ever, about to get a bath. (Goliath didn't sit still long enough to have his picture taken!)

"But why am I tied to a post? We were just playing!"

"NO NO NO! Not the hose! Please not the hose! I don't want a bath!"

"Don't ever do that to me again!"

"Leave me and my bone alone. Haven't I been through enough already?"

Two wet dogs drying off (and playing) in the sun. They are back to being WHITE again. All is well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Aspen Ruggerfest

While our other halves were off refereeing and touch judging the Aspen Ruggerfest rugby tournament, Erin and I took off for the day and went hiking at the Maroon Bells near the Aspen Highlands. First, I have to say that ski towns are interesting when there is no snow - and it's a whole different experience in the off-season. Anyhow, here are some pictures of our walk about at the Maroon Bells. Seriously, I told Erin and Larry that if I had had my Leatherman with me, I may have run off into the woods and figured out a way to live amongst the aspens and he marmots, because this place was just that beautiful, I didn't want to leave!

I swear I'm smiling! Just squinting in the sun at the same time, is all!

Erin said this is one of the most photographed views in all of Colorado. Can you see why?

Beautiful pines, and the Aspens turning yellow for Fall!

Even though these are Aspens, the tall trees on the trail made me feel like I was home.

Aspen logs washed ashore on Crater Lake. Could have been brought down by an avalanche, a heavy storm, lightning strikes... who knows. The heavy winds seem to push them all onto the shore.

Monday, September 17, 2007

September Dog Update

We had a doggie visitor last week. Alpine came to stay for a couple of days while Sy was out of town. Isn't he pretty? One brown eye and one bi-colored eye, and just snowy white. He's very timid and shy, but we got along just fine. Alpine is welcome to come over any time he wants!

The puppies find Alpine very interesting , and will barely leave him alone! He takes a dip in the "stream" while the puppies keep close watch.

Atlas says "what is this thing that keeps beeping at us? Can I sniff it?"

Out on a walk on the pasture, Ditka discovers that the pups are now bigger than him. Well, old-man, you are now back to the small dog status in the house. We knew it wouldn't be long until those pups out-grew you!
Hungry puppies at the end of the day. It's tough work guarding sheep all day!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Honest to god, real live Jousting! Not play-actors, not a renaissance festival skit - real live Jousting. I saw it.

OK, I was an idiot and forgot to take my real digital camera, so these are all from my cell phone camera. Then, the files were too big to email from my camera to my email, so that didn't work. And then I found a USB cable that matched my phone, but no computer in the house would recognize my cell phone. THEN I discovered my PDA and my cell phone are both Bluetooth enabled. So I switched that one... transferred the files to my PDA, and then used the Sync to move them to the PC. SO don't dis the quality of these pics, it took a lot of techno mumbo jumbo to get them to you.

Margaret and I went to the Scottish-Irish festival in Estes park this weekend. It was the 31st year of the festival, and sorry DRFC - but it puts the Saline festival to shame. I found my Forbes clan tartan in a sash I can wear with Larry when he puts on his McPherson clan kilt for fancy dress. Margaret also found out that her clans were NOT at war with our clans (which is good, she was going to stop being friends with us) but she did find out her parents were from warring clans! It was fun... I finally got my Aran sweater that I never did buy in Ireland, and a new celtic knot wedding ring for Larry. But the bestest bestest part was the JOUSTING! REAL JOUSTING. It was the International Jousting Championships. and just to toss in a bit of trivia... apparently Jousting was banned 800 years ago in France, because one of their crowned princes died in a Jousting match. So blame THAT one on France! STINKERS!


The State of America

Being a 30-something, married woman, it's been hard for me to not ignore how our country treats families. Check out this statistic:

"Out of 173 countries, only four have no paid leave for new mothers -- Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia and the United States"

Nice, huh. Everyone though the Family Medical Leave Act was a good thing. It requires a company to hold a woman's job and her benefits for 12 weeks while she is out on maternity leave. There's no pay included. And if a company has 50 or LESS employees, they don't even have to give you that. There are so many other countries that give financial support to a mother at home, as well as allowing paternity leave for the father, too.

I am caught at a crossroads here. I am 33, my career pays well, but is nothing to write home about. I am coming to the end of my breeding years. But how do you pull it off? How do you take a house like ours and suddenly cut our income in HALF (yes, Larry and I get paid the same) and then afford a child? I feel like I am stuck - that I have to save up for a measily 3 months off work, and then I have to race back to work, sticking a baby into daycare, just so we can actually afford the kids. I feel like I have no options. And I work in a company small enough that they don't even have to hold my job for me. It's ridiculous. It's frustrating. This country does not support mothers. I almost feel like I'd rather skip the whole thing in general than try to make it work. And it's not like I have another 5 years to plan this whole deal. I know people make it work, but why should it be such a struggle? Why should I get dropped for doing the right thing and wanting to be home with my kid for more than 3 months. Sigh, ok, just whining. (OH, and BTW, there is a report that ranks all the states in the US and where they fit for benefits, Colorado is ranked a D, I think only Wyoming came in lower than Colorado. Fabulous)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Horses in the Back Yard

Yeah, I didn't mean we could see them from the back yard. I meant they were in it. Larry left the back yard pasture gate open. Probably never thought these guys would come in. But I looked up and saw a horse tooshie in the yard. They did a great job of mowing the lawn for us, but we needed to shoo them back home. It was kind of funny!

Speaking of back is the view from the back deck. You have to get the right angle between the Linden trees, but you can see Mount Meeker and Long's Peak in the background. I'll try to get a better picture of the view from the pasture. Now, I can't complain about all the trees in our yard - they help keep the house cool, and they make me sort of feel like I am home. No oaks, but these Lindens are pretty. The only problem is, whoever planted them years ago, didn't think about what would happen when they GREW! They really do block the beautiful view of the Rockies. Larry has talked of taking one down, but I really can't fathom getting rid of a tree.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I am becoming a Coloradan

I still consider myself a Michigander, even though I have been here for over a year. Much to my husband's dismay, I still consider Michigan "home". True, my family (Larry) and my home (the farm) are here in Colorado, but there are still plenty of people I love in Michigan, and just a familiarity I don't have here yet. You know, the little things, like which Hospital is the best, and is there an Einstein Bagel at the next corner, and where the best breakfast joints are. Sigh. But I am becoming a Coloradan... slowly.

Signs I am becoming a Coloradan

  1. I take water very seriously. Very. I never ever ever pour water down the sink. I drink it, or I give it to houseplants, or outside to the yard. Water is precious and should be used.
  2. We bought the Colorado Ski Pass... so we'll be doing a lot of skiing this year (hooray)
  3. I LOVE it when it rains!!
  4. I ride my bicycle to work
  5. I think nothing of it when I see others riding their bikes to work
  6. My skin has tanned. Not because I wanted it to. Because I am a mile closer to the sun!
  7. I never see squirrels anymore, and have gotten really used to it!
Signs I am still a Michigander
  1. When I dig in the yard, with the hopes of planting flowers or anything, I still expect to see beautiful, soft, black topsoil (and get disappointed everytime when I don't).
  2. Everytime someone mentions that they visited Detroit, I ask them if they had any good Middle Eastern food, and then get jealous if they did.
  3. I say "pop" and still get teased for it
  4. I can't believe it's 100 degrees in the summer
  5. I feel like a fish out of water, because there is no humidity here
  6. I actually USE my turn signal, and potholes don't surprise me
  7. I want more TREES! Where are the oaks and the maples? I want more!
The transition is still happening slowly. I am not sure I will ever 100% identify as a Coloradan. There is a lot of Michigan left in me. But I don't miss the crazy monkey squirrels that ate my tulip bulbs (and are eating Sherri's entire garden), I don't miss the potholes, and I do appreciate public transportation. Maybe one day I'll fit in. But I'll ALWAYS root for the Red Wings!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Troublesome sheep

So, we decided to move the chicken pens to the arena, and move all the hens and turkeys in with the sheep. We can take down one ring of electronic fence, and have all the animals together. We didn't think it would be a big deal. Well, according to Laverne and Shirley, chicken feed IS A BIG DEAL. So I spent some time today stringing chicken wire around the Ark to keep the sheep out. They were not impressed. We now officially have a love/hate relationship.

It's hard to see here, bt there is a chicken standing on Shirley's back. When I got closer, the chicken had realized there was no food there, and flew away.

The sheep, trying to enter from the other side of the chicken house. GO AWAY SHEEP! Chicken feed is for CHICKENS! ANd turkeys. And seriously, look how big those turkeys are getting!

Here they are, peeking around, checking if I am still there. I was hanging chicken wire on the other side, with Athena at my side to keep them out.

After I put up all the chicken wire, they were trying to figure out how they could get in to the house. They were defeated, and they were giving me dirty looks about it.

Cute puppies! Goliath wagging his tail, and Atlas laying down in the grass.

Schroediger says "Work? What is this place, a farm or something? Forget it, I'm sleeping."