Monday, March 31, 2008

Beautiful Spring Snow and Sunshine

It was a beautiful spring day here today. Started out with a solid gray cloud cover, and then snowed. March is getting its last word in, or rather last snow. It was warm enough that the snow melted before the end of the day.

While I was out feeding and watering the dogs it was actually snowing with the sun shining. I had to laugh. I am so glad its spring. Winter has seemed to stretch on forever this year.

How winter can stretch on forever and I can still be behind on paperwork is beyond me. One day one thing at a time. I think I’m going to put in a bit of garden this year. That is the plan anyway.

We bought 15 baby Rouen ducklings just before Easter. It’s been quite the thing to watch them grow. They are 4 or 5 times the size they were when we brought them home. Messy little critters. They have too much fun in that water pan.

Tomorrow I’m picking up 5 more guineas. They are adults. I am going t crate them in the chicken house for a few weeks before I let them loose. Hopefully they will stay here then. I made the mistake of letting some lose too soon last year and they took off and led most of the ones I had already away as well. Live and learn.

It looks like we are getting a dozen adult geese as well. I’m not sure of the breeds yet. I’ll be picking them up in a couple of weeks. I plan on keeping them in the exercise yards between the dog runs for a while. Hopefully the dogs will not scare them to death. I’m hoping they will adjust (both the dogs and the geese). The plan is to keep the grass and weed growth down in the exercise yards with the geese.

I may have found a local place to get some Muscovy ducks as well. If not I found a reputable nursery that sells them.

Truthfully I would just as soon raise the fowl from small birds rather than buying the adults. That way they are attached to this place as home and used to the dogs and our lifestyle.

David and I bought an incubator. Found one that was not Styrofoam. Farm Tek had it. I am anxious to try it out. Our pair of geese is laying eggs. I’m thinking it would be good to smoke some fowl this year. I’ve never tried that but I’ve heard it’s wonderful.

Easter was a relatively pleasant holiday this year. I kept the menu very simple and put a dinner together. Mom, Linda, and Auntie came over. We checked out Mom’s all terrain wheelchair to see if it would fit through the door to the house and down the ramp. It did with about an inch on each side to spare. There is no room to mess about with it, but with care it can be safely maneuvered in and out of the house. It handled the uneven terrain great. I was pleased with the way it handled the hills as well.

I am working on taxes trying to get that entire paperwork bit put together and given to my accountant. Thank God for extensions. I do want that done though. I really do not like having it hang over my head.

Spring Kennel cleaning has been started. I’ve been raking up big yards. I’ll be starting on the smaller exercise pens soon. This winter there was so much snow it was impossible to clean them all out. Ick. I will be very glad to get them cleaned up, sprayed down and another layer of straw put down. The wind whips it out of the runs pretty quickly. But we can get a good layer in the houses, and under the shades. Hopefully this coming season I can have a semi load of gravel brought in, and spread out into the runs. I would prefer pavers then gravel to fill in, but we’ll see what the season brings.

I am feeling better than I have in years. However I know there is no way to do everything at once. Doing a bit each day achieves a phenomenal amount over time. Just a bit each day.

It will be a hair storm here starting in may. I may start on it the last week or so in April depending on the weather and whether the dogs are releasing coat. The hair storm of course is spring grooming. Actually spring vetting and such will be starting this coming week. There are a lot to do so I will be working on them in phases.

Hopefully I’ll get some photos taken as well and start updating my main website . It’s been way too long since I’ve updated my dog pages. This winter it took all I had just to keep up with taking care of the dogs.

I effectively shut down kennel sales this winter. It will be good to get the photos updated and start placing my happy hairballs again.

The internet business is looking very good for this year. Time management is the biggest challenge at this point. But again it’s one day one thing at a time. Rather than trying to do everything at once. Just one thing at a time will do.

I am still losing weight. The last time I checked I had lost 16 pounds. I’ve started walking our driveway loop. Min Min, Cheyenne and I walk it several times a week. Min Min (my furry heart-orange pom) is looking better too. She had become quite round through the winter. Cheyenne is very round as well. (my old friend border collie)

I’d been training on the elliptical, was up to 10 k a day (a bit over 6 miles) and thought I would be able to do the half marathon (a bit over 13 miles) the end of may. If it was on the elliptical I could. However it is between 6000 and 7000 feet elevation on mountain road or gravel trail. Walking the driveway loop clued me in pretty fast that the elliptical was not going to get me ready for that race. The steep uneven terrain is much more challenging than the elliptical. I am continuing with the elliptical however. It is a good conditioning workout. It will just take me longer to get ready for the half marathon. Next may (2009) I should be ready.

I could have completed it this spring, but I would have had to really push it and train to the exclusion of everything else. At this point that is not something I want to do. It’s been challenging enough to take care of my kennels while I was ill for so long, then through the recovery time. I refuse to neglect them to compete in a race.

Frankly health wise it would be better to build slower. Give my body a chance to become much more healthy and strong through the process. Rather than breaking it down for idiocy.

I am truly looking forward to not carrying around this fat. He he, it is truly a pleasure to watch it come off. The pants I’m wearing now were a bit snug in December. Now they are so loose that I have to cinch them up with the drawstring. For the first time in my life I’m not fixated on food. I am actually enjoying cooking again. I haven’t enjoyed that in years. I’ve been tweaking recipes, changing them to whole wheat, and less sugar, and so on. Both David and I feel better for the changes in our food. I made a beef barley stew this evening from scratch. It was yummy. One of those things that I kind of pull out of my head. I do think I’ll start writing down my recipes though, so I can remember what I do from one time to the next. Who knows maybe I’ll write a recipe book sometime.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians
307.788.0202 USA Mountain Time

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