country dog, dirty frog

Years ago when I lived in town with Bayley and Claire, all their stuffies  were clean.  Bayley and she had all kinds of stuffed animals which were for “in-door” play.  Balls, frisbees and things of that sort were for out-door play. Even if one or two of them found their way out side, it was never for long and they stayed pretty clean.   I’ve become much more lax over the years living in the country and sometimes Claire slips outside with one of her favorites.  It is never a good thing when that happens.  I’ve seen them dropped in horse stalls, run over by gators(John Deer) and now this …….left outside the pouring rain.  Probably would have drown if it hadn’t been a frog.

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A little ranch tour

I have a talented  husband who built us this great gate.  It swings open to my world!

We have pasture on either side of the road leading to our house.  Everybody gets a turn in the pastures, but they don’t get to live there full-time.  Arizona is different from Colorado that way.  Here in Skull Valley,  the grass is not as plentiful and you have to water, water and water it to make it grow.Our road leads to the bunk house, the main house and the stalls where the horses live.  We have family that loves to come stay in the bunk house.Our house has that wonderful southwestern architecture, the kind that keeps the  house cool in the summer. Claire is being so cooperative today helping me give a tour of the ranch.  Have you noticed her in a few of the pictures?  I’m surprised Scrappy cat hasn’t shown up.

This is our back pasture, except it really isn’t a pasture because it isn’t watered so it has no grass.  The back pasture has just that scruffy stuff that grows in the high desert.  We turn the horses out and feed them grass in big tubs.  This way they are out of their stalls and getting to roam together which they love cause they can play rip the fly mask off your buddies head.

Notice Claire is showing you the stalls.  This type is popular here in Arizona……sort of al fresco style.  The stalls give the horses shelter from the hot sun, rains and the few snows we get here.  In Colorado we had enclosed stalls for those really heavy snow storms.  I happen to know that horses can live just fine with a shed to keep them out of the weather. Growing up in Wyoming, our horses had covered three-sided sheds and they lived happy lives to thirty years of age.

This is my view off the back porch.  I watch the birds and bunny eat from this porch.  I’ve also seen our Longhorns eat bird seed back here one morning when they had their big escape.

Longhorns pretending to be quail

My oh my, you forget how brown things were once summer comes.  I for one am not ready for any leaves turning.  Thank heavens it’s only the end of July.

Found out where Scrappy was hiding out….she isn’t as social as Claire.

Well that takes care of the tour.  Now you’ll have an idea of what my little world looks like.

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dog days

Who says the “dog days of summer” are just for dogs?

Actually, in checking Wikipedia,  it’s defined as the hottest most sultry days between July and September.  But why dog days?  Why not cat days?  Wikipedia explains that the term comes from the belief that the hot days came from Sirius, the Dog star in the constellation  Canis Major.  Apparently a very hot star, but somehow it takes away from my cute story and the fact that Scrappy would like it to be called the “Cat Days” of summer.

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Who is that masked man?

I had originally planned to call this post “The three Maskateers”.  I walked out to the pasture and three of our horses were lined up perfectly ready for me to take their picture. Alas, I didn’t have my camera with me and had to run back to the house to get it.  By the time I got back to the pasture I found this………

two of the maskateers walking off

Gone was my photo moment.  I had one, or two,  even three, but they were fighting!

grumpy maskateers

Try as I might, I could not get them lined up and looking at me with those cute masked faces.  re-adjust, change the title, and wah-lah  Mr. Ghost is happy to get all the attention. Who is that masked man and why is he wearing that contraption?  We keep these fly masks on during the day when the flies are especially pesky.  The flies can irritate the eyes making it very uncomfortable and even cause infections.   The next thing you’re probably wondering is why is the mask so torn up?   Unfortuantely, our horses have no respect for their masks or even care that we spend hard earned money for them. To the horses it’s just something to play around with.  For example, Mr. Ghosts’ mask started out with ears and a nose shield, both parts being important and hard to find at the store, but while horsing (sorry) around with Yabba, the nose cover was ripped off.

Most masks just come with the eye protection and ears if your lucky, but it is very hard to find the mask with all three.  Horses with big noses, actually big white noses really need the protection from the sun.I’m not naming any names, but let’s just say one of our horses really needs his nose mask .  I’ve sewn the nose on (the mask not the horse) a few times, but take a look at the ears on the mask again.  It looks like we don’t take care of our guys so I decided to buy a new one, besides, I  couldn’t find the missing nose piece in the pasture.

new mask

Notice though, no ears.  I said it was tough to find a mask with all three.  Lucky for Mr. Ghost, his ears are black and don’t sunburn very easily.

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A Tale of two mice…or three or four

There are mice in our barbeque grill!  I know this because  the other night as I was grilling and a mouse poked his head up then jumped out of the grill.  Claire, my sub-standard poodle, snatched it up and dropped it in the yard.  It was just t-tinsey, harmless,


mousers doing their job

hunting the mouse

Do you see what I see?

except for the heart attack I nearly had, so we left it in the grass to find a new home.  I went back to grilling determined not to let that mouse ruin the great dinner I was fixing.  Claire kept fussing at the grill.  Mind you, she had been fussing at the grill for days unable to convince us that there was anything in it…..that is the last time I don’t believe her.  Three mice later and she was still insisting there was another.  I had vacuumed, scraped, and scrubbed that grill.  I got out the screwdriver and took the front off the grill, I tore that thing apart!   Yet, when I looked where she was sniffing I saw another pair  of little black eyes staring back at me…….. I think I’ll bake for a few meals until the store-bought catch and release traps work.

Scrappy on the hunt

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I actually started thinking about a blog because of a comment my husband made.  Someone visiting had asked where I was and he responded, “oh, off in her children’s book world!”  Seems whenever I came in from being with the animals I always had a story to tell.  I loved reading children’s books to my girls while they were growing up and to my classes that I taught.   Anyway, I’d come in telling something about the animals and what had transpired which always seemed to be in story form so my husband decided I mostly lived in a children’s book world.  I know, I just try to look at it as a complement.

I put off the idea of a blog for a year or two and then this fall my dear Portuguese Water dog named Bayley died.  I  had her for twelve years and never put one of her silly stories down on paper.  Last week when my daughters’ horse lost her battle with cancer I decided I couldn’t put if off any longer.  Nothing like losing a loved pet to wake you up and get you rolling.  Hence, I start my blog for Bayley and T.J., two really special pets with amazing personalities.

A girls best friend

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Tex...original name for a longhorn huh?

I decided to start a blog to share our life on our hobby ranch.  My husband, would insist that we live on a working ranch.   No question we work on this ranch, however, I think working ranches usually provide an income by raising and selling the livestock on it.  We mostly raise and keep the animals on our ranch as pets.  Yup, we mostly have pets on our ranch.  Guess you could call it a pet ranch instead of a hobby ranch.  Pet or hobby, we really do work on the ranch, so let’s just say we live on a ranch .

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