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Monday, May 28, 2012

A Horse-Wrangling, Coop-Cleaning Weekend

It's a long holiday weekend in the states. Today is Memorial Day. There are no words sufficient to thank them for their sacrifice, or that of their families. If I could bequeath them anything at all, it would be peace.


Many people have the day off today. I should be outside working, but I'm forced to take a day off by default. De fault of my bum shoulder.

Over the weekend, we super-cleaned and disinfected the chicken coop with a power washer and bleach. We let the chickens roam that day, but the dumb birds kept coming back. We finally had to close the gates on them so the coop and yard could dry out.

That coop was immaculate when we were done. Somehow I threw out my shoulder and I can barely lift my arm today. So here I sit, critiquing a friend's book, waiting for the pain meds to kick in. This is my second dose and it still hasn't helped. I must've wrenched it good.

The weekend was exciting for another reason too. We went horse wrangling. Sort of. Greg and I had to go into town and we decided to take Tank with us as a treat for him. On our way back we saw this big guy turning every shade of red as he tried to keep up with a runaway horse. 

We thought at first the horse had thrown him because the guy looked beat. But no. The crazy horse escaped his pen and had been keeping just out of reach of his owner. 

Greg turned the truck around so we could pick him up and try to head the horse off before he got too close to the road, already crowded with holiday traffic. I jumped in the back with Tank and we stopped to give the guy a  lift.

Boy, was he ever glad to see us. I've had to wrangle an assortment of runaways before. Believe me, even when you're in good shape, all that trotting tires you out fast. It took a while but the guy finally eased up on the horse. Thank goodness. I'm sure the poor animal was spooked enough with all the extra traffic.

The winds have been especially fierce lately and lots of grass fires have started. The closest one was less than ten miles away. I always worry. I live in a forest. If those trees caught fire, I'd lose the house for sure. So far all the brush fires we've had in the area have been contained quickly. 

We're hoping for rain this week. That'll help a lot.

We watched Limitless on Netflix over the weekend too. It was a pretty good movie, even if some of the plot points were tidied up too neatly. In the movie, the hero takes a pill that allows him to use 100% of his brain, making him instantly focused, motivated and aware of everything. 

...if only.

So what's new at your end? Any movies you recommend? What's your plan for today? If you live in another part of the world, do you also have a holiday set aside to honor your fallen soldiers?


Sarita said...

Your weekend sounds action packed. Wow.

I am so sorry to hear about your shoulder. I hope you get relief straight away.

Maybe chocolate would help? :)

LD Masterson said...

Cleaning chicken coops is hazardous to your health. I figured as much.

Too bad Tank isn't a horse herder. (Is there such a thing?)

Maria Zannini said...

Sarita: Right now a heating pad is more relief. :(

Linda: Lots of people around here have cattle dogs (also good for horses). But Tank isn't one of them. He prefers a more supervisory position.

Darke Conteur said...

Sorry to hear about your arm. Isn't is fascinating how just a small wrong turn can cause so much pain? My aunt stepped off the curb of a side-walk last year, and broke her ankle!

We got our veggie garden in!!! Note how excited I am by the 3 exclamation points. Doing some experimenting this year. I bought two cucumber plants by accident. Trying to grow peas and gr. beans too.

Should be interesting.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: I'm so glad you got your garden in! Did you rent a rototiller? It sure does make turning the soil so much easier.

I'm off to put in a few more peppers into my garden. Apparently, I forgot to plant jalapenos. Oy.

Melissa McClone said...

Sounds like you've had a busy weekend. I was up until around 2:30 this morning when I emailed my latest ms. to my editor in the UK. They don't have today off! I have a few prelims to do (dedication, Dear Reader letter) then I want to see Avengers! I love Thor ;)

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm sorry your shoulder is acting up. I hate when my limitations make me behind in my plans. You did a lot of work though. Have a great week.

Rula Sinara said...

Sorry to hear about your shoulder. Not fun at all...especially with all you need to get done.

My kids have been asking for chickens. The same kids who don't help take care of the dogs they wanted. Heh.

Maria Zannini said...

Melissa: After all the deadlines you've been facing, you need a good break. I hope you enjoy the movie.

Clarissa: Just proves I'm not as young as I think I am. LOL.

Rula: Well, at least chickens don't require as much care as dogs. And you get eggs. :)

Jackie Burris said...

Saw The Avengers yesterday in 2D, I am getting too Old for comic book hero movies as yawned through half of it and laughed in all the wrong places!

Bummer Maria, gotta say since 1999 have had shoulder pain a lot since having my roll-over wreck and it can be a real "show-stopper" when you only have 1 working arm. Luckily it is my left and I am right handed.

Runaway horses, been there done that and am glad it is not a part of my life anymore. Those beasts are great animals but they are too smart for their own good about getting loose and playing "keep away" when you are trying to catch them!

Crossing my digits and praying for rain your way, fires breaking out this weekend have been on my mind because of fireworks and right now it is so dry and windy it is spooky again.

Take care and rest your bum "wing".

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: I felt so sorry for that guy. I know what it's like trying to catch something with more legs than I have.

The weather people say we might get some rain this week. I'm ready whenever Mother Nature is.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Sympathy for the wrenched arm. Ouch. And so frustrating. Definitely not deserved when you'd stopped and done such a good deed.

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: :half shrug: I was telling Greg that are Karma ledger ought to be full by now. I just wish it would pay up. LOL.

I'm sure the shoulder injury is temporary.

Angela Brown said...

Sorry to hear about the pain you're experiencing. I hope you get better very soon.

Glad the coop is clean. Those chickens just don't know how good they have it :-)

I'll bet that fella thought you and Greg were the best things since sliced bread. You could have gone about your business but you were about the business and simply being the wonderful peeps you are. Plus Tank probably had an extra marvelous time watching everything.

Darke Conteur said...

No, we didn't have to rent a roto-tiller. Husband messed around with the one we had and it worked just long enough to till the soil and mix in peat and sheep poop. :D

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: We were just a teensy bit worried about how Tank would react to having a male stranger in the car, but as long as he was on my lap he was fine.

Now when he finally saw the horse... It was all woof-woof-woof.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Rototillers just have to work once a season. We tend to forget ours until it's time to get it out.

I've never tried sheep poop in my garden. You'll have to give us an update on how you think it did.

Shelley Munro said...

We have ANZAC day, which was in April. The day started to commemorate the first world war, but now we celebrate all service men and women.

Shelley Munro said...

Oops, hadn't finished. Sorry to hear about your arm. There's nothing worse than a body letting us down, although I'm sure your chickens appreciate their clean coop.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: I remember reading about ANZAC just recently on your blog. You taught me something new. :)

Angelina Rain said...

Sorry to hear about your bad shoulder. The horse incident sounds like an adventure.

I worked most of the weekend but had Monday off, so I got to relax by the pool all day.

Nadja Notariani said...

Coop cleaning was going on here as well. I also need to dig out their run and add new mulch. Maybe next weekend.

One issue I'm having right now is that 'the girls' are picking on one fellow chicken. They did this once before. I've added 'entertainment' in the form of a few cans hanging from strings to distract them, but chickens seem to be 'quite catty creatures'. Sigh.

Hope your shoulder feels better.

Raelyn Barclay said...

I mostly just enjoyed family time and outside of checking email really didn't touch the computer yesterday :)

I've had to catch a few runaway horses too. Glad you guys were able to help the poor man out!

Sorry about the shoulder. Hope you feel better soon! And I hope those fires stay away from the homestead. Take care my friend.

Marguerite Butler said...

OUch! Hope your shoulder is better soon. I feel your pain on chasing animals. My dad's cows keep getting out. You'd be amazed how fast they are.

Did you get goats yet?

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I'm so glad I didn't spend yesterday chasing horses. I've done that before...

Instead, we played video games and did catch-up work, preparing for the mother in law's visit. Sheesh.

I hope your shoulder feels better soon and that it rains, too.

Maria Zannini said...

Angelina: We were so worried that horse was going to bolt into traffic. That would've been tragic for everyone.

Nadja: Chickens definitely develop a pecking order and they can be cruel. I've heard some people put the bully chicken in a time-out box. I've taken the bully chicken and put them in someone else's pen. (I have three.)

But the thing that worked best for me is when I let them free range for a few hours. For some reason the bug picking is much more enjoyable than picking on each other. Good luck.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: I'm getting too old to run. :) I have to depend on 4-wheelers and golf carts.

Marguerite: Heck! I was waiting for you to invite me to your house to see your goats. LOL! Actually, we have a line on a couple of prospects. It's been kind of busy so I had to put it off, but maybe I'll make some phone calls this week.

Barbara: Mother-in-law, eh? I think I'd rather catch horses.

Cate Masters said...

Quite an adventurous weekend! Hope your shoulder's healing.
Lately I spend most of my days herding toddlers but the weekend, thankfully, was quiet. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Cate: Herding toddlers is in fact more treacherous than herding horses. Those little munchkins are FAST.

Sarah Ahiers said...

oh man, nothing is worse than trying to catch a horse that does not want to be caught. So frustrating

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: Times like those, I wish I had four legs. :)

Southpaw said...

It actually sounds like you had a busy weekend. Hopefully, your shoulder will mend quickly.

On Monday, I went for a long walk to the local ponds and reservoirs and watched the baby ducks follow their mamma around. It was peaceful.

Kathy Cannon Wiechman said...

Hope you're feeling better by now. Coop-cleaning is one of the dirtiest, smelliest jobs I'm aware of, & it shouldn't cause you pain to boot.

Mike Keyton said...

Maria, is there any part of you that has not yet been damaged? I shall never complain about house painting again! Until the next time.

Maria Zannini said...

Holly: I miss having ducks. They are far sweeter birds than chickens.

Kathy: The coop is well ventilated so the smell isn't too bad. It's only that this time we dismantled and pulled out the long row of nest boxes that made it a bigger chore. I'm glad we did it though. It was spotless when we finished.

Mike: Well, I haven't hurt my left shoulder yet. I'm saving that for a special occasion. :)

Have you finished painting? I still want to see pictures.