Look Who’s Back! It’s Gracie!

Oh my gosh. Today got even better! There I was, talking to my boss, all serious-like, when Lee came in carrying something that looked like a small Carlton. Only it was GRACIE LOU! We hadn’t seen her in over a week!

Hello!

Of course, there was one place we hadn’t looked for her, and that’s where she was. She’d been in our garage storage room. One of us must have gone in there for some reason and she followed us in.

I’m still all happy and playful!

I have a sinking feeling it was me, because I vaguely remember going in there at some point. That guilt will stay with me forever, every time I look at that sweet face.

Thanks for freeing me. I need more variety in my diet.

I guess the “good” part is that we locked the right dog in there. Gracie, as I mentioned before, is a tough farm dog, despite her delicate good looks. It was obvious she had mice to eat in the storeroom and knew how to catch them. Wow.

We had to ration water when she first came back to the house, because we know too much water when you’re dehydrated isn’t great. She seems okay now, friendly and sweet as ever.

One thing we can’t figure out is why we never heard her barking. I spend a lot of time in the garage looking for eggs, after all. But, now that I think of it, I was in Austin last week! Ah! That explains it. Still, I didn’t hear her from Friday to today. It’s a mystery, I guess.

We’re here to distract you.

After all this drama, I went out to sit on the porch and stare blankly at the trees. I got to enjoy a fine show of Harvey, Penney, and Carlton chasing each other and playing. It’s like having my own circus act.

They’re doing acrobatics.

I’m so glad we found Kathleen’s sweet and tough dog. We’ve had enough losses and bad news lately!

Chicken Update

I made a mistake in my piece on waiting for the chicks to hatch! I said it took 15 days, and that’s totally wrong; it’s 21! I appreciate our supporter, Dorothy, for pointing that out and telling me how to candle eggs with a flashlight!

Mom let me peek out! Look at my cute feet!

Dorothy also tells me she’d rather have dishcloths than an afghan, which means my next supporter who gives more than a dollar a month can have an afghan! Who will it be?

Isn’t my butt cute?

Pet News, Some Good, Some Not

There’s been a lot going on in the pet department around our ranch community. The first is good news, which is that right now there are two puppies to enjoy over at the neighbors’ house. They use Australian cattle dogs as working animals, and the elderly matriarch (Tess) is no longer able to do much. So, they decided to allow their breeder friend to get puppies from their youngest female (Jess) and one of the breeders’ unrelated males. The two female pups and Jess came home from the breeder’s house this weekend, and I got to enjoy them. They are so soft at this age!

Bess is the one with brown on her, who’s on the go. The other one’s a real snuggler, so her new family will enjoy her!

One of the little cuties has another home, where she’s going in a week or so, but we get to enjoy the other one (Bess) and watch her grow. Nothing like a bunch of rhyming cattle dogs to brighten the neighborhood! They now have 5 generations of the same maternal line at their house.

Other nice pet news is seeing how well Ace is fitting in with the other equines. We caught him touching noses with Fiona yesterday, which was so sweet. Immediately afterwards, though Apache broke up the love fest. I guess Fiona is HIS lady.

Hello, little buddy.

The amusement we’re getting out of the paint horses shedding continues. There are interesting areas of white in the pastures. When you get up close, you can see they are horse shaped, if that horse happened to be rolling on the ground. Spice left one where you can actually see her brown spots and her white ones, like a map of her coat. I couldn’t photograph that, since we were wrangling three horses, but I did get a picture of one from Apache, which is all white. Poor Spice will get brushed out next time I’m back at the ranch, since she looks like Apache did last week (since Sara hasn’t been riding her, she hasn’t had her usual amount of grooming).

It’s like Apache made a snow angel with is hair.

The sad pet news is that we appear to have lost Gracie Lou, Kathleen’s little white dog, and Vlassic’s favorite companion out here. She just never came in Saturday. We can’t keep her fenced in, because she’s so little that she slips through the gates, but she always has come in and asked to go nap in her bed in Kathleen’s room, and of course, to eat.

Gracie joined us last April.

We put a notice on Milam Touch of Love and asked all the neighbors (all four of them!), but no one has seen her. I went up and down the road and didn’t see any evidence of foul play, either. She just vanished. Maybe she encountered a hawk or a coyote, or a big cat, but only the hawk makes sense, because she disappeared in daylight, AND the harrier’s been around. Lee’s favorite theory is that she was sniffing on the side of the road and someone picked her up, thinking she was lost of something. She is very friendly and will jump into cars.

So, we’re hoping someone realizes we are looking for her and brings her back. She’s always been such a tough ranch dog, and more of an outdoor animal than indoor. It seems weird for something to get her after she survived the farm in Yorktown for so long, as well as our place for over a year! Keep your fingers crossed she turns up again.

A New Supporter!

Let’s end this on a happy note, though. I’m going to have to get those knitting needles warmed up again, because The Hermits’ Rest blog and podcast have a new supporter! Thank you to Kathleen Caso of Hearts, Homes and Hands for becoming a monthly supporter! She’s hoping to share podcasts about the ranch with our home-bound clients, who enjoy listening to stories. I enjoy telling stories, so THAT all works out. And then, if they want to see pictures, they can look at the blog. Great idea, right?

You, too can support us for as little as dollar a month by signing up at https://anchor.fm/sue-ann-suna-kendall/support – or just keep reading and listening. I’m happy to have all of you around!

Day Off, with Animals

Just wanna day woo. Taking the day off. So far I have played with dogs and chickens. I had a blast watching Gracie Lou playing with heifers. What’s nice is that they were all obviously playing. Here’s a sequence.

Gracie is stalking. Cows are approaching.
Note Gracie’s play bow.
There she goes!
There they go!

That was fun. Vlassic had to get in the act, but he got yelled at.

Tiny black dog is Vlassic.

I also just hung out with the chickens. Why not? They’re all so glad to see me. It’s great to be loved by tiny dinosaurs.

Love Gertie the Guinea and Fancy Pants.
Three roosters. Two real.

Okay. Further adventures await! You have a Good Friday. Lol. The phone capitalized the “good.”

Am I Falling Apart?

Hmm, haven’t whined about things that aren’t really earth-shattering lately. I’ll fix that. And I’ll share random photos, because I don’t have a theme.

Distraction! These darling little guys are Inca doves. They hang out near our carport at the Hermit Haus.

Generally, I’m a pretty healthy person. I have the occasional ache or pain, thanks to having been alive for so many trips around the sun, but really, I’m pretty good. Even the doctor said I was healthy “for someone your age.”

Unhappy left hand.

I’m wondering, though, if perhaps dealing with the undercurrent of stress for the past couple of months is starting to take its toll on my physically. It’s nothing major, but a lot of my former stress-related physical symptoms have been quietly manifesting themselves.

For example, I have started to get these very itchy little fluid-filled bumps all over my hands and arms. I used to get them a LOT when I was in college, especially during the summers when I spent 8 hours a day sanding pieces of fiberglass (printed circuit boards) by hand, or breathing chemicals that plated metal to said pieces of fiberglass. Guess who had no mask or gloves? Me.

Unhappy right hand. Also with dewberry scratches.

I thought it was bits of fiberglass getting under my skin, but as I got older, I realized I broke out when dealing with long-term stress (bad relationships, bad jobs, deaths in the family, divorces). Here they are today, itching like mad.

And I suddenly can’t walk right! Out of the blue, when I was walking home from feeding the horses, my left foot began to hurt with every step. It feels like I strained a tendon or something. I kept waiting for it to go away all evening, but nope, it’s still hurting. This is NOT the foot upon which the large light fixture landed earlier in the week. That bruise is not bad. But, what the heck, I didn’t trip, fall, drop something…nothing.

Perhaps it’s the non-matching shoe/sock combo? But these shoes are the kindest ones to my feet.

And then there’s the twitching. My eye has been twitching since February, so I guess it’s not a virus issue. I think it has been the underlying stress from starting a new company and worrying about the company I already work for (I was really worried my boss would lose his job, with good reason). Eye twitches are so annoying. It feels like everyone on earth can SEE them, even though as far as I can tell, they can’t.

Distraction! this cool lizard lives in the wildflower bed.

One symptom I’m not having, thanks to my friends the anti-anxiety meds, is what used to be constant for me, which was a really strong tingling going down the back of my neck. It used to be worse when dealing with certain friends and family members, but hardly went away at all during the 80s and early 90s. Yay, I’m cured. Now my neck just stays tense. I miss the chiropractor!

Look who’s fitting right into our household! Gracie Lou is not intimidated by Penney.

I guess I should be glad I don’t have the symptom so many of my family have had, which is horrible digestive issues. (I only have MILD ones, thanks to all my probiotics, I guess.) And I’m not getting bad headaches, which is good. And of course I’d rather have annoying stress symptoms than get put on a ventilator or have a stroke, like people with COVID-19 have.

Distraction! Light fixtures I sorta helped Chris put together while we wait for the electricians to show up.

What’s going on with you? Any weird symptoms out of nowhere? Do you also have dozens of mosquito bites on your feet, because you were helping someone put together light fixtures while wearing sandals? (That’s another reason why I am wearing shoes and socks: scratching prevention.)

TMI? Hey, that’s how I roll.

Gracie Lou Who?

Ya know, it’s been a long time since we got Penney. We need another dog. Look, it’s Gracie Lou!

A white dog in a white garage.

Stop laughing. It’s actually Kathleen’s dog that they brought back from Yorktown. She’s getting up there in age, bit still perky and cute. She’s a dachshund mixed with maybe a Maltese.

Hey!

We are so glad she’s with people again rather than just getting fed every day. Right now she’s living with the “kids” in the garage while we wait for Penney to be nice. Of course, she’s the problem!

I just want to rest and be cute. Make Penney go away.

All the other dogs like her just fine. Vlassic really likes having a fellow small dog. They’re opposites, with his short black hair and her long white hair.

Nicole introduces the two sausage dogs.

I think we’ll have fun together until Kathleen and Chris go to the Ross house. Welcome, Gracie!