Can I do that? Can I use "blog" as a verb. Yes indeed, I think I can.
Unfortunately I have more sad news, though. On July 6th we had to say goodbye to a farm fixture--my dad's old farm dog, Stupid.
I had been treating her with antibiotics and ointment for a growing mass under her front leg, but the mass just kept growing and her abdomen began to swell. Much like Layla's body did two years ago, Stupid's body was shutting down from cancer. She was uncomfortable and had no hope of recovery, so we made the difficult decision to euthanize her.
While I miss Stupid (the farm just isn't the same without her--I still expect to see her run up to the car when I get home), the most difficult part was seeing my dad so hurt. He hasn't had very many pets and while my dad isn't an emotional person, you could tell this was hard on him.
We buried her by the old, original house. She used to always sleep upstairs in that old house, in it, and even underneath it at times, so it seemed fitting that she was laid to rest by the place she always gravitated to.
The past few weeks I've also welcomed a couple of additions--one expected and one (or a few) not so much....
The first (and expected) arrival was Fabian! If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you might remember Fabian (aka "Frankenhorse"), who is by Eddie and out of Seeker, the deaf broodmare I had from Fossil Gate Farms.
He's grown into himself now and isn't a Frankenhorse anymore (of course I figured he would, since his parents were both quite conformationally correct). The Laytons weren't able to keep him, so I brought him back home to grow up a bit over the winter. I'd like to find a great home for him probably sometime next year as I certainly don't need four horses, but thankfully I can take my time and try to find that special "forever home," that I'd love this special horse to have.
The second addition I'm actually not too entirely thrilled about--cats. Feral cats, to be exact. In the past, this was never an issue because Stupid assumed cats were like any other varmint to be exterminated. If any cats came around, she'd "take care of them."
Now, I have a cat, one that I've had for twelve years and love dearly, but if you've ever lived in the country you know that feral cats can become a real problem. They multiply quickly and stick around in high numbers so eventually they begin to have health issues and cause real problems (around them and amongst themselves), so really they end up not having very good lives at all. I feel that I have a responsiblity to make sure that any animal I have has a good life. Having a mass-producing herd of feral cats isn't a good idea, in my book.
So...I've been seeing a wild cat, in fairly good shape, lurking around the place. I was hoping it was a single male cat. I figured he'd take care of the mice and we'd just leave each other alone and all would be well.
Problem is, "he" turned out to be a "she." A "she" with kittens. Two if them, as a matter of fact.
I don't think I'm meant to not have a zoo. Seriously. I lose a dog and gain three cats. How does that happen?
The kittens are about five weeks old (meaning they were born the week I lost Eddie). One is gray and the other a brown and black tabby with a white belly--uber cute!!). I brought them some kitten food (because I'm a sucker--no surprise there) but momma moved them. Thankfully one is a loudmouth, so I should be able to find them again. I need to get busy socializing them, so I can take them into the vet and get them fixed. I don't know if I'll be able to catch momma anytime soon (she is VERY wild), but if I can, I'll get her fixed, too. I don't mind them being around, catching mice and rabbits, but I don't want twenty of them! With cats, less is more!
Of course I will get pictures of the cute little buggers when I get a chance (and when I find them again) :)
Finally, I just realized the other day that I had never posted my real porch plans for the house. This project is probably a year or more away, but I've basically settled on the plans for it. The picture below is very similar to my plans:
I'd like to screen in the bottom portion, all the way across the front of the house, then have decorative railing around the top, with only the center portion covered (the original second story cover). I think with the architectual elements of the porch and the new top on the house, it can look modestly sophisticated, which is what I'm reaching for with this house. I want to keep its original charm and character, but bring a classic touch to it--just enough to modernize it without losing its ruralness.
That probably didn't make sense at all, but it sounded good. Right?
Here's what the inside of the screened-in first-floor porch will look like:
Except instead of a few chairs and a beach towel, I plan on putting an outdoor dining set out here. To the right, where that natural wood paneling is, there will be a set of French doors leading to the kitchen, so it will be a perfect area to sit and have a lovely evening meal, watching the sun set in the west.
Wouldn't that be lovely? A girl can dream....