Although we see them fairly frequently in another part of our valley, it is rare to see elk across the road from our house.
With the decision to euthanize Lily Monday, we had to decide what to do about Rags, a thirty-two-year-old horse who is frail, has very few working teeth, and is suffering from Cushings disease. Originally we decided to have the vet put him down as well, though that decision pretty much gutted us. We knew he would be incredibly stressed by being alone. However, my friend texted me telling me to bring him to her place. She has several other very old horses that she boards. Better yet, Rags lived there for several years before we set up the horse facilities here and knew her three remaining geldings, so he would have a ready-made herd. I told her that I would discuss Rags’ condition with the vet and make the decision then.
After putting Lily down we discussed Rags’ condition with the vet. She was quite supportive, though suggested it might not be a kindness to try to get Rags through another Colorado winter.
Another friend dropped what he was doing to haul Rags to his new home. Although it seemed to take forever to work out the details, I led Rags into our friend’s horse trailer a little after midday. He had been screaming for Lily since we put him back in the main horse field, ignoring food and water. I was afraid he would colic from the stress.
Rags was quite cooperative while loading and rode quietly. (In fact, I knew the trailer was here because Rags does a little happy dance when he sees a trailer pull onto our property.) After a short ride, we installed Rags into the corral where he will live until we can supervise his reintroduction into the gelding herd. The other horses, in an adjacent field, nickered when they saw Rags. He has a small shelter and his own stock tank. He immediately started eating some hay.
This morning I checked my records and we first had horses here in November of 1996. Aside from a few week long gaps due to wildfire evacuations that’s about twenty years.
This morning I did some clean up around the barn before the next rain storm. I couldn’t face doing so yesterday. I inventoried the remaining hay bales and drained the stock tank. My feelings resembled those when I cleaned out my mother’s closets after she died.
Years ago, Lily was diagnosed with ulcers, which would cause colic like episodes. The episodes seemed to be coming more frequently as she grew older, despite daily medication. This morning she was down when I went out to let the horses into the south field to eat grass. She got up to go in the new field and lay down again. She went up and down continually for the next hour. Although she had been up for a while when the vet got here, Lily had a heart rate of sixty, indicating that she still in pain. We had already decided that we could not afford to treat another full blown attack, so we asked for her to be put down.
This is Rion’s crate. Both dogs have crates in the bedroom, but neither dog goes into Bandit’s crate during the day. This is only the second time that I’ve seen Rion and Bandit share a crate, and I was astonished that they stayed put long enough for me to take the photo. Usually, Rion forces Bandit out of the crate by staring until Bandit leaves, but I suppose that strategy didn’t work yesterday.
With the recent precipitation, our south pasture (aka as the “new field” these twenty years) has enough green stuff that I let the horses out on it for two hours for the first time since last fall. With his age (thirty-two) and chronic conditions, I expect Rags’ next non-routine vet call to be his last, so I was amused when he managed a few crow hops to celebrate being let out to graze. He even achieved a little altitude, though not as much as Lily.
Several weeks ago I decided to move my craft room (apart from the sewing room) from the finished basement area that I had been using for years to the spare room on the ground floor. It’s not a very big room and Jack was sure I wouldn’t be able to get all my craft stuff stored away In the new area.
My goal was to move everything upstairs except for books and empty storage units, and I succeeded. Getting rid of stuff involved filling the recycle bin several times and multiple trips to donate at the thrift store.
The shelving and storage units are all reused from items I had downstairs. The only new items are the Ikea table top and trestles. I prefer a standing work table, but using the adjustable trestles allows me to change that in the future if I decide on a seated work table. Since the table top rests on the trestles, we can also move it out to the deck if we need it for parties.
The move included getting rid of a lot of miscellaneous furniture I had been using downstairs. We now have enough room downstairs for a guest bed but that will be in the future.
From the road, I could see this abandoned structure in Cibola National Forest in a valley below the road. I found a path from a parking pull-off and was able to reach the ruin with an easy walk. The house contained one main room and two small rooms. A stone wall enclosed the area.
There was no marker indicating its age, but I did notice that the windows had a strip of iron or steel across the top. I cautiously explored the inside as there was no building debris or trash. The stone shell looked quite stable.
I was baffled by the stone wall. It looked like a lot of work for not much protection.