Nothing but Blues Skies

Cactus Jack

Our two Longhorns found an open gate and went to visit the neighbors large herd of welcoming cows. As much as we wanted them back, we were not sure how to separate them from their friends without a stampede. Weekday mornings do not allow enough time to do any cattle rustling, but luckily they happened to be hanging out by themselves along our fence line last Saturday morning. Tom opened the gate and led them back to their pasture while their 100 plus friends were wailing and telling them not to leave…..I think the boys are glad to be back. Welcoming treats of carrots and cattle cubes helped a lot! I just finished two new paintings to celebrate their safe return. I have them on my Etsy web site . Click on Leicalady.etsy.com to see all of the Longhorns

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Meanwhile back at the Ranch

Our evening routine is simple yet effective for keeping all the pasture ornaments fat and happy!All it takes to produce glee is to open a gate and let the ponies explore and sample…well actually devour the fresh grass that has been growing in their absence.  They will fly around the pasture for about five minutes and then start begging for carrots.Hugs are welcome, too!It is very satisfying to have a small herd who are lovable, sensible and steady.It is heaven to be surrounded by such precious animals, but I do miss the ones who are really in heaven.

Rosie

Miss Rosie

We have had Shelties since we were first married. My first Christmas present was Omar, a male Shetland Sheepdog. We are baby sitting Rosie. She is a rescue dog, part Sheltie and she is going home next week-end……maybe, I might have to hide her somewhere!

Home on the ranch

Rosie is a big help, keeping a watchful eye on everything.

Mini Madness

My nieces, the Tincredibles…..I like to call them, because they are twins and incredible….came to visit last week.They made the day so much fun for everyone. Their adorable cousins came with them and could not have been any cuter.

Paige going for a test ride

First on the agenda was a trail ride! The girls picked out their saddles. They had a big choice, from saddle seat, hunt seat and various sized western saddles.

Big day for the little squirt

“Has Mini Mac ever had a saddle on?” Everyone wanted to know. I said not yet, but told them to stand back and prepare for a rodeo. I picked the smallest saddle that we have, but it still dwarfed him!

"My life will never be the same"

The little monster did not think that he could walk at first. He took a few hesitant steps and realized that it was not such a bad deal to join in the fun!

CUTE STUFF!

I was amazed. He must realize that the ponies that get most of the carrots are the ones who are wearing the saddles! He was as laid back as they come. He can get by with just being a pasture ornament, but he could not resist these precious girls! All five of them!

Say cheese! Or carrots!!!!

With a little bit of Luck

Why do people say that you have a hard outer shell? Shells are not always hard. A tortoise or turtle shell is made of the same substance as our fingernails and horses hooves. Nutrition plays a vital part in the health and strength. Too much protein is almost always the culprit.  You can look at them and see the degree of health. One of our mini horses has trouble with his hooves….I have raised  Mini Mac since he was a baby and never has he had a problem with his hooves until recently.

Eddie in his winter man cave

Fast Eddie our African Sulcata Tortoise is 25 years old….mas o menos… He already had a perfect shell when we got him. Of-course I will feel like I did something wrong if ever he got sick…..I read about all the nutrition and supplement advice , I light candles, I do a little dance and pray. If you talk to 15 different horse owners, you will get 20 different answers, but if you have an African Sulcata Tortoise, you can just read  about care at  the Sulcata Station and they have the answers……

Last Night and the Night Before

I could not wait to get home Friday night. Tom and I had a cook out planned and we wanted to get started before sunset. I thought we might just walk down to the tank and sit on a blanket and eat a salad, but I should have known better. I saddled up Pony Boy and he was my couch for the evening, while the Gourmet Chef grilled bell peppers, zucchini, carrots and onions to compliment our jalapeño and cheddar cheese burgers. Pony Boy munched on hay and was content to hang out with us. We had a radio, but it was more fun to listen to the Cara Caras (Mexican eagles) and the Owls as it got later. Last night was even more fun and Tom had the whole day to plan our feast.We had corn on the cob, roasted on the fire, green beans on another grill, chicken and sausage on the 3rd one.

Spooky's first pony ride

Noche and Okie stayed home (their choice)and I was a little bit worried about bringing Spooky. I thought we might lose her when it got dark, but she stayed near us all night. She even went for a ride on Pony Boy. Sky was really good, too. She did a little exploring, but never wandered off to far.

Every day opens up new possibilities for fun that only could be realized by living out here with the solitude, open land and abundant wildlife. Just recently we have been excited to see several deer on our property for the first time ever. Last week, I started putting out corn so that they will appear on a predictable basis.There is a big buck and at least four doe in his harem. I can’t wait to see little Bambis in May. If I feed them enough, maybe they will hang out here more often and try some of Tom’s roasted corn on the cob! We took lots of photos that are posted here. Check out Just Saying to see some of the ranch recipes.

Happy Day!!!!!

Miss Piggy was up bright and early and starving with her usual healthy appetite. She had homemade pancakes, cranberry bread and some hog feed to balance it out.  A few oatmeal cookies for dessert…..She was cheerful and like a new pig after yesterday’s damp chilly weather really got her down. I remade her bed with fresh hay and fluffed her pillows before she settled down for a five hour nap.

hiting the hay

The sun is finally out after a week of foggy sloppy weather. She loves it and so do I! Swine not?

sweet dreams

Needle In A Haystack

Almost had to poke poor little Miss Piggy today. I talked to a couple of Veterinarians and some pot bellied pig breeders and thought that she might need a penicillin shot, just in case she had pneumonia or something. She was shivering and trying to make a warm bed out of wet leaves. She was being hassled by Francie, my 27 year old mare, as I tucked a waterproof blanket and down comforter around her. Francie wants to be the only one with a pretty blanket on and she was jealous. It got worse when Tom and I piled a bale of hay around poor Miss Piggy. Francie was teasing her and eating the hay while Bridgette the boar goat tried climbing on top of the hay bale/blanket pile with our Piggy squealing beneath the mountain. Both Francie and Bridgette are in time out in a fenced corral away from her while our piglet gets some much needed rest. Tomorrow is predicted to be warmer. Meanwhile the 18 gauge needle loaded with antibiotic is waiting…..These winters are going to get hard on our older barnyard buddies. Luckily we will have a spare bedroom soon. Hope our human guests don’t mind sleeping in the barn….or a bed of straw. LOLsnug love bug

We keep checking on her but so far she is as snug as a bug in a rug……Peace out.

Just Another Day in Paradise

Patiently waiting

Patiently waiting

Look at that little pony outside my window patiently waiting for me. It is a beautiful day! Tom has been on his tractor all afternoon. The  ranch looks like a park. It’s time to ride the fenceline and enjoy the beauty of all his hard work. Just another day in Paradise !

Cows

just cows medThis has been the most fun painting to work on. It is painted with oil and I feel like I finally have the feel of it and I really love it….I thought watercolor would always be my first choice, but for now I am hooked on the richness of oil…….Besides these beautiful bovines, my inspiration comes from Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. My artist friends call me Dandrew and that is a compliment. My models for this painting belong to my neighbors. You can see how fat and sassy they are. They are contented cows, for sure…..Most of my paintings have been reproduced as Giclees by the finest photographic lab in the country and I just posted them all for sale on Etsy.com. This painting will be available in a limited edition (less than fifty) and will be reproduced on archival quality Artist’ stock material. Hand signed by Dana Spring Parish.