Life in the Slow Lane

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Life in the Slow Lane: Under water

Most of the time I love living next to Oak Creek. The water tumbles merrily in the cool shade of the tall trees as the otters hunt for crayfish.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Down, Moosie!

Before I get to the dog part of this story, I thought I'd update you all on my newly completed brooder coop. At last, after sorting through all the many bits and pieces of this and that cluttering my barn, buying as little as possible and when necessary from Restore, the coop is done and the barn is clean.

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Life in the Slow Lane: New Brooder Coop

If you remember, oh plucky reader, the last time I got chicks--the Brahmas--was two Januarys ago. For their first two weeks they lived in an old cast iron tub that had dirt in the bottom and was covered with several hardware cloth-filled frames to prevent cat intrusion. This worked really well. Not only did the cast iron tub have round corners, thus preventing chick death from all of them trying to squish into a square corner (a strange chick behavior), but the heat lamps warmed the cast iron which radiated even more heat back at the chicks. However, with thirty chicks they very quickly outgrew that small space and I soon moved them outside the barn into a thrown together pallet-and-baling-twine built coop inside a chicken run.

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Life in the Slow Lane: A New Queen

I once again have seven cats living on the farm, courtesy of the new guy in my life. Molly is a Somali Cat, which means she looks more like a fox than a cat.

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Life in the Slow Lane:Snow Day

OK, be kind, dear relatives from Duluth. I know you sneer each time I mention it, but I have snow!

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Life in the Slow Lane: Tiny's Shadow

The conversion of Lonely Girl from pig to sheep is now complete, at least in her mind and much to Tiny's complete aggravation. That aggravation is complicated not just by Tiny's certainty that Lonely Girl isn't a sheep, but because the pig (She-ig? P-eep?) treats her the way Lonely Girl and her porcine sisters treated June the Cow.

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Life in the slow Lane: 'Lonely Girl'

It's that time of year and four out of my five piggies are now gone.

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Life in the Slow Lane: "Really?!"

"Really?!" I said, my head tilted up to the gorgeous blue sky on Thursday morning. I was limping again, having tweaked a tendon even though I don't recall stepping wrong.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Sadness

Saturday evening, June gave me the spotted heifer I wanted so much. My first inkling that all was not going to go well was when I saw Little Iris's hooves appear.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Pig Update

I'd so like to tell you that June delivered her calf. I can't! I swear, she's doing this just to make me crazy. Actually, the only reason I'm not crazy is because I know there really is a calf and that calf was alive and well a couple of weeks ago.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Squash Soup

First, I would so like to report that I have a new calf. I can't. Although June is getting more serious about letting that baby go, she continues to bide her time.

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Life in the Slow Lane: "Still Waiting"

Sigh. There's no calf yet, at least not outside of June's body. All the signs are there. Her tail's loose as are the muscles around the birth canal. Her pin bones are low, her bag is filling up, and every day there are gooey strands wrapped around her tail. That cow! I swear she's doing this on purpose.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Spiders!

For those who don't know the story, there was once a beautiful and talented weaver in ancient Greece named Arachne. She was so talented that the goddess Athena, also a weaver, challenged her to a weave-off.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Toads

The other day I sadly swept a small, dead, completely desiccated toad out of my basement. I love my toads. I love them despite the fact they make the weirdest sound of all the creatures on the farm.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Death Defiance

That cow! Remind me the next time I decide to buy a cow that I need to ask if she was raised by other cows or raised by humans. I definitely prefer cow-raised cows.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Humidity

Our Monsoon season opened with a storm so powerful that it sent a flash flood right through my property.

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Life in the Slow Lane: PCU

It's official. I'm not selling the farm. What makes my decision official? I bought piglets.

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Live in the Slow Lane: "Beaver"

Over the past eight years (and this month it's officially eight years that I've been a co-owner of this property), I've only once seen a beaver. That was about five years ago in July, no less. I was standing on the porch when all of sudden Moosie, then just a pup, went racing down to the Mason ditch. I watched as he walked along the ditch bank his attention on something in the water.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Flies, ugh

It's only been a few years since I last had dairy cows on the property, but in that short time I completely forgot how awful the flies are. However, before I get into discussing the pestilence of flies, I need to get you caught up on general cow news.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Summer is here

And how am I certain that summer has arrived? Because on Friday the temperature got over 100 degrees while Saturday brought us a lovely all-day rainstorm. It was overcast, drizzly, and cool, and I had all the windows open. Welcome to summer in Northern Arizona.

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Life in the Slow Lane: I bought a cow

You know how some people are shoe fanatics, or have shelves full of bobble-heads, or collect those theme plates? Well, I've decided I'm an animal-aholic. It's for this reason that I stay away from the "Farm and Garden" section of Craigslist.

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Life in the Slow Lane: 'Worm Free'

I wasn't a helicopter parent with my kids, and I'm not a helicopter farmer when it comes to my animals.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Sheep Tales

That title should read More Sheep Tales, but it's been a week of sheep giggles for me. First up is Mari, who has made an amazing turnaround. I had her sheared ten days ago. Like her father Cinco, that wool of hers is a throwback to the Hampshire side of the family. Unlike most Dorpers, who shed their hair (Dorpers have hair, not wool), Mari has wool and it just kept getting thicker. So as I did with Cinco, I hired a shearer.

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Life in the Slow Lane: BA!

I've never owned a dumb farm animal. That's not dumb as in unintelligent. From the cows to the pigs to the turkeys, every one of my critters has proved capable of figuring out how to get what they want. That includes opening gates, breaking down fences and crossing hot electrical wires.

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Life in the Slow Lane: Finished Coop

I'm getting to this post late today because I wanted to finish the last bits on the coop so I could take a proper picture. And I did, both finish the coop and take a picture. The wooden structure is now wrapped in hardware cloth and chicken wire. There are a pair of wheels at the back of the coop although I haven't yet strung the rope handle at the front that allows me to move it. A technicality. It's well and truly done.

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