Monthly Archives: May 2008

Hay strings

I spent a rather hot weekend, braiding hay strings into goat halters. I’ve been thinking of a way to do this for some time now. Lily and Maddie are trying them out, so I guess we’ll see how long they last before I post any pictures or directions here. I think they turned out pretty well and were easy to do. Best of all, they use up hay strings. Does this qualify as frugal craziness, given that you can buy halters for under $10? Beats me, but the hay string was free to me.

Sad tax rebate news

I’ve been waiting for my stimulus check to come in. I had direct deposit, so it should be in this week. Then I had a horrible thought on Monday. I’d paid for Tax Act, to file my taxes. They routed my money through their bank, so they could take out payment for their software. And what that means is that I will be getting a check payment, instead of direct deposit, sometime in early July. It was pretty devastating, but I think I’ve recovered for now. We’ll still need the money for the things we’d planned for. It just means another two very difficult months ahead financially. The continuing spike in gas prices does not help at all. I’m up to almost $50 to fill the tank in my car, which is close to 5 hours work at my pay rate. Multiply that by at least once a week and you can tell that it’s not going to be easy.

In the meantime, I’m going to try and get the garden in this week. We are also going to have to make halters, something that I thought I would be able to buy this week. We’ve got to be able to stake out all the goats. Lily and Ragnar are prone to wander off. The weather is better and we’re not having to feed hay, which is a huge help. We’ve got plenty of stuff to do in the meantime. Somehow, there’s just not enough hours in the day for it.

Loretta the knuckleheaded

She’s a good puppy, really she is. But she has what we think of as “springer mind”. She gets so focused on what she’s doing that she simply cannot hear us. Today is an example. I took her out before work. She was off in the woods at the neighbors. I walked up the drive to check on her and she was staring up the road. Then I noticed the elk, the same ones that have been coming down lately. I yelled “NO” at Loretta and the elk took off up the hill. Of course, when they started moving, Loretta started off after them. They were already gone by the time she got to the hill but I still couldn’t turn her around. I had to start up the hill, stick in hand, before it finally sunk in that she was in big trouble. She turned and ran back down to the trailer. When I caught up to her, I gave her a shake and chewed her out. She was sorry. She’s always very sorry and sad afterwards. I just hate the thought of her getting trampled by angry elk and somehow, we have to get her to learn what no means. We’re friends again, but it’s going to take time to turn her into the dog we want.

No pictures but…

I took Loretta out back this morning, like I do before work. I was about to throw her a stick until I looked up the hill. I saw a group of six elk, just up the hill, looking down at us. Loretta got wind of them and wanted to go up, but I managed to call her back down. We have so much wildlife around now.

Last week, I watched a ruby throated hummingbird. I know what it was because it lighted on a branch about seven feet away from me. It flew straight up in the air and then dive-bombed right back down. It made a big loop and then hovered, repeating again. I am guessing that it was diving for bugs. The clouds were just right to watch it silhouetted against the air.