Wednesday, December 03, 2014

My Top Tens List

Echo Lake (top ten places)
The Notorious BIG (top ten rappers)
The Wizard of Oz (top ten movies that should not be re-made but The Wiz is the exception)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (film, 1971) (top ten movies that should have never been re-made)
The Lord of the Rings (top ten books)
Paul McCarthy or Paul McCartney, either one (top ten artists of the last few decades)
Donuts (top ten foods no one should eat but that are really hard not to eat)
Rolleiflex (top ten cameras that I own)
Brittany Spaniel (top ten dog breeds of the 1970s Sadler household)
Julia Child (top ten television chefs)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

West Nile

This morning our alpaca, Sassafras, was having trouble using her hind legs. She was wobbly. Jenny and I picked her up - I would guess she weighs about 100 lbs - and put her in the back of the Yukon. The Yukon is a large car ideal for picking up hay or taking livestock to the vet - one livestock at a time.

The vet suspects West Nile virus. Jenny reports that the vet warned that this is sometimes fatal but also that the vet didn't seem overly concerned or at least she didn't switch into emergency mode like she did with our poor goat, Chloe.

When Jenny returned we vaccinated all seven of the remaining alpacas and our three horses. There is no vaccine for goats. Wrangling all of those alpacas is not an easy job. I sprained a finger when I accidentally jammed three of them into Seurette's hard neck.

Goat News:
The three goats have been restricted to their stall and dry lot. Fiona's udder had grown to a size that would be the envy of a small cow. But she wasn't pregnant. The diagnosis? Precocious udder. The prescription? No grazing or grain for Fiona. The vet, the same vet who is working with Sassy, said we could let her graze again - keeping and eye on her udder of course. Last I looked, the three goats were happily eating mallow and some other undesirable weeds. Good goats!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Danny and Gavin

These two guys died a few weeks apart a few weeks ago. Jenny rescued them both on the same day 16 years ago. Things will never be the same around here. So much of our daily routine centered around taking care of these sweet boys.

That is danny above with Diego in the background. Danny loved visitors. He would throw the entire weight of his body at their legs and plop onto their feet.

This is Gavin, dignified and old like the Jonathan Richman song. He didn't like getting his picture taken. He had an uncanny ability to tell the difference between a cell phone just being used as a cell phone and a cell phone in camera mode. That's why these photos look like a private investigator took them.

The scraggly little guy on the left is Elliot who arrived just days before Danny left. He loved Gavin. It was love at first sight.

So sad without them.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Stuff from the cabin that Cabin is named for

I love reading the record of the mundane activities of every day, particularly when they were written by my own family and the events took place at my favorite place in the world, Paris, France Echo Lake.

I am thinking of making postcards of some of this imagery. Probably not as interesting to people whose cabin this doesn't concern. 

Our cabin used to be much smaller, even smaller than the part labelled "existing." It used to consist only of the section with the door flanked by two windows.

I see that a door was proposed to separate the old and the new. There is a doorway but no door. I've often thought of putting a pocket door there, mainly to keep the main cabin warmer in the winter.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Farm Records

Started irrigating today in the south pasture.
Pre emergent spray for puncture vine, May 28th.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Life and Death on the Farm

Living on a farm with lots of animals is a beautiful thing. When one animal touches another - particularly if he lays his head on her body or reaches with a paw, hoof, claw or tentacle to touch another, it makes me smile every time. Seeing two animals curled up together sleeping is like Prozac (if Prozac makes you happy) for the watcher. This is universal. Baby animals make all people happy just to gaze upon and if you do not agree than you are the exception that proves the rule, the rule I just made up.

Unfortunately, until someone invents a one sided one, there are two sides to every coin. If, like on this farm, you have somewhere between fifty and 500 animals, there is an array of ages and levels of health. Sometimes, like yesterday in this case, the first indicator that your rooster is sick is his dead body lying in the dirt. Sadly, that is often the best case scenario. In the past few days Reuben and Stanley* died. Stanley, with feathers that could make a fly-tier weep, looked ok in the morning but was dead by lunch time. Reuben, tall, black and white, long beautiful tail, lethal four inch spurs and one beautiful red eye, was not so lucky. For the past few days he had been spending more time in the coop, then all of his time in the coop. One day he was "stuck" in a "hole." The "hole" could be more accurately described as a divot or a slightly low spot. He just couldn't walk up the 2% grade.Very sad to see the formerly vigorous become - no other way to say it - feeble. The next day he was found convulsing. Jenny tried to calm him. After a while he did calm down and died with his head in her hands. Reuben was one of the 12 chickens that the former owners of this farm left for us to take care of. Now there are five left. One moved to California, the rest were killed by predators.

Some deaths hit harder than others but they all suck. I know its part of life. I understand that. Like Siddhartha, when he died, it was just another experience but I still cried.

There's more on this subject coming but I am not prepared to write about it just yet.

*I just named Stanley for the purposes of this post

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sheep Dogs

Jenny came home a few days ago with the above sheep dog that I believe to be a bearded collie, and

this boarder collie. My initial reaction was that I hope we find their home. I would happily have kept them and even happily-er if we had fewer dogs. But I wouldn't trade any of our sweet dogs (obviously) for them. Jenny put a vague ad in craisglist (we wanted to discourage opportunistic craigslisters looking for free dogs). These dogs had a distinguishing characteristic - their collars were tied together with bailing twine. When Jenny found them they were stuck on either sides of a fence. 

Their names are Iladio and Flash, respectively. We were starting to resign ourselves (or fall in love with) the idea that these were now our dogs. Then someone called looking for the dogs. They are working sheep dogs from a sheep camp not too far from our house. Gregorio, sheep herder from Peru, came and took them away a couple days ago. Before Gregorio arrived, Jenny cut off the lion's share of Iladio's mats (dreadlocks). I was starting to dream about having dogs that can run and hike with me. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Alpaca

This is Contessa Cinna. So far that's her name. Her mom is Giada, the large white shape nearest her. She was born March 20th out in the pasture some time in the afternoon. She surprised Jenny, running in after the rest of the herd for the evening feeding. Just over 17lbs.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Today's post

Before I decided to have a blog - as a joke is how it started - I used to take a break during the day or at the end of the day and write. That was satisfying, and when the blog started that satisfaction was transferred to posting. Lately, I am spread out too thin and this blog has been neglected. And I don't write things down on paper either. Paper is neglected. I miss stumbling on old notebooks that give a glimpse - or actually spell out exactly - what was happening on a given day.
If I could carve out an existence with much less computer time, or screen time, I would. The question I ask myself on a regular basis is, "What would I do if I was rich?" I would leave the house without a phone more often. I would take days off from responding to electronic enquiries. I would write with pen on paper more often. These days my hand gets tired when I write by hand.
Today I read that too much screen time is bad for the brain. I read it on Facebook. Another thing I read on the Internet was that taking a week off the Internet and devices can reset our circadian clocks. Not many people have occupations that allow for that. I recommend backpacking in the Frank Church RIver of No Return Wilderness. No Internet and almost no phone service. I have a cabin in the mountains that used to require a small journey by boat to make a phone call. I miss that. If you wanted to call someone you really had to make an effort. I would not mind living in a place where pigeons where my most efficient way to send a message.

I have to walk down to the post office now.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Cabin Drawing

I found this photo copy of a drawing of our cabin. I do not know who the artist was.