Sometimes Ranch Life Is a Bit too Much

Like today. I was awakened in the night by a familiar odor. Someone had been skunked. That someone was Penney.

I was just helping Goldie

And more stink arrived in the form of Goldie. I tried to sleep but Penney kept pushing, which she does when she is scared. I ended up with my legs off the bed, which gave me sore knees when I woke up.

I’ll spare you the carcass

After only a little coffee I was told to remove the skunk from the side yard, where most of it lay. Other parts were scattered around, as if a large animal had gotten to Goldie is a large animal.

Suspicious hole

As I went to get a shovel, I noted a large hole under the pool equipment base. Oh goodness. The skunk was trying to build a burrow in the yard where the dogs live. Skunks aren’t bright, cute as they are. It was doomed.

This was all over the yard.

Anyway, the skunk is now turtle food in the pond, and I got over my nausea from looking at its innards. The hole is gone, too, since this morning, Lee and the nephew created a new walkway from the back of our under-construction garage apartment, the garage side door, and our main path. It also made the pool equipment area look better.

After the skunk thing, I cleaned my giant closet and the kitchen, which had turned into a housefly buffet. I’ve now kept up with the dirty dishes stacked near the dishwasher for 6 hours and emptied the dishwasher twice. Lee has washed the stinky sheets. Yay.

This young lass had her own skunk adventure over at Sara’s but has bathed herself. Good dog.

I was tired of ranching and chores so I helped Sara film Aragorn on this dressage work, now that he is all shod. He did great. While I was there, I found a new (to me) plant, a swan flower. It is beautiful, and nothing like any other flower around here!

Swan flower

I wrote an article for the Master Naturalist blog with more details. I was surprised to see this one is the northernmost sighting of this plant, which is only found in Texas. How about that! This has been the highlight of the day and was a nice break.

When I got home, we got a hay delivery of square bales for the horses this winter. I did my best to help, but I really suck at lifting hay bales. The young man who brought it, though, was damned good at throwing it, and the nephew was good at stacking it. I counted.

The young woman who also lifted many bales.

Half the hay went to our house and half to Sara’s. Sara was much more helpful than me. But I wish I had a video of the tossing. They were amazing at it. Nice hay kids! Whew.

I was hot and the day wasn’t half over. This ranching can be hard and keeping your cool can be hard. I tried to cool off by the pool, but no. Neighbors dropped by to ask if we’d seen the obscene stuff painted on the bridge over Walker’s Creek next to our property. They had all sorts of theories that some teens who’ve been riding up and down the road in a “gator” (motorized golf cart utility vehicle).

That proves it wasn’t ME.

I had no idea there was stuff down the road, but I remembered seeing red stuff when we came back yesterday afternoon. That day teens did indeed go up and down the road endlessly. And I’d seen them earlier messing with cane on the bridge. I thought it was just kids having fun on summer break.

But no.

Nope. There was obscenity, anti trans stuff, cruel stuff about people with mental illness, and the coup de gras (whatever) the flourish of Let’s Go Brandon. Hardly necessary.

So welcoming to their trans neighbor.

And you know what, in today’s society, you hesitate to report vandalism in the community, because you worry some asshole will come shoot you. Nice. Rural living can be beautiful. It can be scary. Here’s a flower.

And yes, I called the sheriff. I just hope my beloved county commissioner will paint over the offensive stuff. I’m not wanting anything it peace and quiet.

Skunk-tastic Day of Chores

Honest, I was so proud of myself for all the chores I’d accomplished today. House, tack room, trailer, and garage floor, all clean. Horses all fed. I sad down to eat some cereal in mid afternoon. The dogs went nuts. And one of them foolishly went after a skunk.

I blame you, Suna. You moved my house.

I started the day enjoying my horses’ love of hay. Don’t these guys look happy?

Mmmm

I had on gloves so I could lift the hay bales after Sara brought them to me when she returned the trailer. Then, when the hay was out and everyone was chomping, I patted Apache. I guess I’ll be grooming away later.

This will be fun to clean. Maybe I’ll just soak it in skunk juice.

Lee and I went to Tractor Supply to get Apache food and more food for the other four, who are really looking better after I started giving them senior food and a magnesium supplement. I got a shovel for horse poop in the trailer and wanted a little wagon but couldn’t find one.

What is this? A cleaner tack room!

Then I cleaned. The trailer looks good now, even after Drew’s copious output yesterday. Then off I went to load up that food and clean the current tack room. I’d been waiting to clean it until the new one was ready, but I couldn’t take it anymore. At least most of the remnants of the rat invasion are gone and some debris is out.

Isn’t the garbage can Kathleen’s friend painted for her cute? It’s full of senior feed!

The room needs lots more work. Someone just tossed some boxes in there and now they are a mess. I think some may be my knitting stuff. That room would make a cool craft room, after it’s next use.

Meanwhile, Lee moved the new tack room closer to its final destination. Part is even on a block. That is probably what caused the skunk issue.

The occupant of the shipping container was not amused.

I got finished and just sat down to eat some weird healthy cereal when the dogs went nuts. Lee went out to check, and the two big dogs were running around foaming at the mouth. One or both had gone after a skunk in the side yard. Oh great.

Poor skunk.

We think it was the one who lived over by the horse pens. It’s smelled skunky there for months, and we’d each seen one. I’d hoped to live peacefully, but once it came into the yard during the day, its hours were numbered.

It’s been disposed of. That was also stinky. I’ve sprayed the dogs with Angry Orange stuff and Febreeze. It’s still bad. We sealed off the bedroom and my office.

Nothing covers up skunk.

What a day. We will wash the washable dogs with Dawn dishwashing detergent. That works better for us than tomato products. Thanks in advance for not telling us what to do. We are handling it!

Three bottles!

Lucky for me, I unpacked more wine from the Austin house. When I looked at my Cabernet Sauvignon section, I saw I have three of one of my favorites! This is so good. I now have two, and also a 2016 and 2018. I think I drank 2019 already, but it may still be in stores.

And I’d thought today would be lonely and boring! Ha!

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