Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just a really big egg

One of my girls laid the mother of all eggs today. This egg is 2.7 ounces of egg JOY. It's a full .6 ounces bigger than my previously blogged about MONDO egg. That's 76.54 grams, for all you metric nerds:

Just for perspective, an average Jumbo egg from the store weighs 2.5 ounces or 74 grams. My eggs are currently averaging between 1.6 and 1.8 ounces. Where in the WORLD did this big boy come from???

It's so doesn't even fit into my champagne glass. What? I'm the only one who puts eggs in champagne glasses? Oh.:

Clearly, I continue to be made ridiculously happy by the eggs my pretty girls give me every day.

P.S. That first picture at the top? Monster egg is next to wee baby egg, my smallest egg to-date, weighing in at .2 ounces. It hardly even registers on the scale, it's so small.

Friday, August 29, 2008

And then there were three....

My special girls, Sarah and Holly:

went to a new home today.

A very big part of being a Satellite Adoption Center for the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue is to promote the adoption of the beautiful donkeys in my care. So, when Andy and Carrie from Tillamook called wanting to visit a few weeks back, hoping to find two donkeys to have as pets, I was very pleased. Carrie told me she had always wanted donkeys and both she and Andy were delighted to find that Sarah and Holly came as a package deal, already bonded to each other and special friends. Almost immediately after meeting them, Andy and Carrie decided to adopt Sarah and Holly, and went back to their home and built the girls a barn. just five days, they put together an admirable and substantial shelter for the girls that the donks will be very happy to call home.

As I mentioned before, Holly and Sarah came to me as a bonded pair:

Rarely, are they ever more than a few feet from each other:

Getting them into Andy and Carrie's trailer this afternoon wasn't as bad as I'd feared - we had them go in together and, although a bit uncertain, they did really well:

Holly was presented with a pretty, new, green halter:

and Sarah received a lovely, red one:

Their anxiety grew as I climbed out of the trailer and we shut the big door:

But this was nothing a bit of tossed-in hay couldn't remedy:

Here are the proud:

-and protective- new parents, Andy and Carrie:

Bye, sweet Sarah and Holly:

...And then there were just three:

I wonder how the boys - Ian, Pistol and Brownie - will do without the girls:

I guess this means I'm being successful at being a donkey foster mama, sending these sweet creatures off to new, happy and loving homes, but it sure does hurt when they leave.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Serious Donkey has a Ball

Aidan and I brought home a treat for the donkeys the other night. I finally broke down and got them a Jolly Ball to play with. After seeing Velvet's Baby (now known as "Elvis") play with one at his new home, I thought our donks might get a kick out of one, too.

Have you seen these before? They are heavy-duty, inflated balls with a handle built in, perfect for rough equine play. Some are even scented:

We chose the green apple one and it was an immediate hit:

Four of the five donkeys immediately had to have turns sniffing it:

...stepping on it:

...and biting it:

But then a funny thing happened. The donkey who is usually far too serious for such silliness actually wanted a turn.

Pistol, the alpha-donkey of our current herd, tends to be a bit of a loner. He spends a great deal of time not just standing apart from the other donkeys, but often with his back to them, staring off into the distance like he's contemplating deep thoughts. See him in the background below?:

This is how we've come to know Pistol. He seems to appreciate a certain amount of alone time:

But once he got that ball in his mouth,:

we got to see a whole new side to pensive Pistol:

Sure, he'd let others come by for a sniff:

He'd even let somebody get in a few nibbles (as long as you were female and named Holly):

But he wasn't going to let that ball go. He tried to make others feel like they were in on the game, like here, where he's banging Ian on the backside with it:

Or here, where he's rubbing Holly's neck with it:

But he was pretty clear that this ball was his now:

The others, of course, weren't about to argue with him, but they did get kind of bored:

And looked for other things to chew on:

However, Pistol paid no attention. He was too busy having a ball:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good-Bye

An Ode to Pip

You trusted me,
You made me laugh,
You've never had to have a bath.

Your cap of feathers, once long and flowing,
Due to the ladies is no longer growing.

Your scalp now like a monk's tonsure,
all round and shiny and bare,

Still acting like the stud o' the coop,
You crow and cluck without a care.

Frequent tussles in the barnyard,
Wounds to you now do appear,

The days I've had to clean you up
Caused me to feel great fear.

You think your dominance should prevail
Over the bigger, badder Roopert.
He gets mad, you won't back down,
Each time finds you in the dirt.

Cull is such an ugly word,
I push it from my mind,
Instead, a happy, safe, new world
For you I shall now find.

A friend from Blogland offers
These kind words to me:
"Give him to my mom!" she says,
So I decide to see.

Turns out a flock is roosterless
And needs a new guy - stat,
A chance for you has opened, Pip,
Now's your time, you're up to bat.

So down the freeway we travel,
Just you and me and Rox,

I never foresaw I'd be doing a roadtrip
With a rooster in a box.

With 14 hens to call your own,
Protect them with great care,
Never need you worry again
What Roo might be offended by your hair.

So, Mr. Pip, go forth, be happy,
You've been a good boy for me,
It won't be the same without you here
Although Jim will surely disagree.

Pip and Danni:

Pip's wonderful new mom, Verna:

Pip, this afternoon, at his new home, being introduced to his flock of fourteen:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

There's this one month...

Do you have one month during the year that is crazier than any other? A month that you know, no matter how organized or time-managed or well-prepared you feel, will leave you gasping, breathless, at the end of it? August is this month for me. It rivals even December, that classic busier-than-busy month. What is it about August that always makes it so crazy? I think it's the combination of end-of-summer activities, back-to-school registration...and two very important birthdays: my son's and my mom's.

My oldest son's birthday is on 8/24 and my mom's is on 8/25. And because of a long-standing tradition that birthdays are (really, really) BIG in my family, there is a lot of preparation involved in making them just right. So what I've learned is, when you have two family birthdays back-to-back like this, it's very important to maintain your sense of humor.

Because of how busy we'd been, when my youngest son and I found ourselves at Costco on Saturday morning for some last minute shopping, we were in rather interesting moods. As I filled the cart:

Aidan thought he'd be helpful by testing out the $3,500 massage chair:

The blurriness of the photo is due to the fact that, by this time, I, too, had found my own massage chair directly across from him. (Mine was only $2999.) The wiggling and jiggling (and giggling) prevented me from holding the camera still.

The control panel on my chair, in addition to also being blurry, was very confusing and wouldn't stop talking to me:

Aidan, however, was completely relaxed:

The next morning was Teagan's birthday. From the earliest time I can remember, our family tradition has been to greet the birthday person with a festive morning birthday table. Here is Teagan's:

Of special significance is the single, white candle that is always placed in the center of the birthday table:

Per the family rules, this candle burns for, and is only to be blown out by, the birthday person. A wish is made and the candle is blown out...similar to the traditional candles on a cake ceremony, only waaaay more serious.

I've found that, no matter how big a boy you think you are, you still can't help but smile when you open your presents:

I thought this picture of Teagan thanking his girlfriend, Alana, was sweet:

What's one of the ways to a 20-year-old boy's heart? Zombie toys. This one walks and groans:

This one is small but was sufficiently creepy and gelatinous to make up for that:

Fresh blueberry pancakes are the another way to his heart, but I didn't get any pictures of those.

Amazingly, later that morning I found myself at Costco again, this time with my mom. We had shopping to do for her birthday open house later that day. My mom looks like a movie star to me in this picture:

We drove back to her house, got all the decorating and prep work finished, and the guests started to arrive. What's better than giant hugs from your grandchildren on your birthday?:

The party, which my sister and I hosted for our mom, was a huge success - and everyone seemed to have a great time. Teagan and my mom shared a birthday cake:

And with a little help from Gabriel, the youngest grandson, the candles didn't stand a chance:

Back outside later, I got some great candid shots.
Here's Andrew, 9 year-old grandson, pretending he's a turtle:

And this is Gabriel's very nice left ear. It made him laugh when I took this picture:

At the end of the day, everyone seemed tired and happy. And even though August still has a few days left, it's officially over for me now.

I can't believe I have a 20-year-old son. Where has the time gone?

Me and my boy, who will always be my baby: