Cats, Cameras, and Canals (oh, my)

Hello there!
It’s getting warm out! Oh my goodness, the flowers are starting to bloom, the animals are shedding winter coats, and it’s been a lot of fun to work on the porch when we can. It has been windy though, we lost a flag this last storm, tattered itself to pieces before we could wrestle the pole down. A telescoping pole, when under tension from the wind, is no longer a telescoping pole.


Joey got his summer haircut, and while he doesn’t look like a poodle anymore, more like a lab, he is a much happier dog, and has been wreaking Joe-sized havoc on the farm. He’s a little miffed, because I had to replace one of his tennis balls (I buy them in bulk now, not even exaggerating). Why did I have to replace it? He had literally torn all the fuzz off of it, and it had developed it’s own level of sentience, it was so gross… Joe is rough on tennis balls.
The girls have had an easier couple of days because I cracked a couple ribs and haven’t been big on the whole twisting and bending thing. The doctor said “No driving and stay out of the saddle”, among other things, but what I heard was “you don’t have to go grocery shopping and no lifting the saddle, bareback rides only”… I think that’s a fair interpretation. Although to be entirely honest, I have been avoiding riding for a couple days, because my real life, adult job requires sitting at a desk for a long time each day and I’m pretty sore by the time I get home.
Since I’ve been taking it easier on chores, I’ve had a little extra time to enjoy the outdoors this week, and I got to take my camera out on a (low key) adventure for the first time in a while. I forget how good nature walks are for the soul. The photos are middling, but the attitude has greatly improved. Funny how that works. I’m always happy when I have camera in hand.


The cats, whom you haven’t yet met, are in some level of trouble this week. Juliet and Cordelia have a tendency to get into places they aren’t welcome, mostly because it’s unsafe for them, and Monday morning I found them in my car. They had found one of my windows about a half-inch rolled down, and decided the best option was to force the window lower and spend the weekend partying in my backseat. They re-organized my tailgate storage (I drive an SUV), knocked several knobs off my dashboard controls, and unfortunately used my car as a litter box. The also stripped out the gearing in that window… so it no longer rolls up. Don’t worry, I have it secured closed until I can get it fixed up.
Luckily, my lovely family helped me scrub the new-found gross out of my car, and I spent too much money on air fresheners to help mitigate the smell. This little old lady heard me telling the sales associate what I was looking for and why, and she handed me a little off-brand air freshener, assuring me it would cover the cat smell. Boy, was she right! My car now smells like pina colada… from about 5 feet away with the windows rolled up. Honestly, still prefer it to the litter box smell so I am a happy camper.
Juliet and Cordelia are an interesting duo. Juliet is a social butterfly, more dog that cat in terms of happily following you around doing chores, drinking from the hose, trying to round up horses. Cordelia pretty much hates everyone unless she’s hungry or bored. Hence why it’s hard to get a decent image of Cordelia. Although it’s just as hard to capture Juliet on film because she wants to hug the camera. They are a comedy duo, and they’ve lived on the farm longer than any of us. We joke that we bought two cats and the farm came with them. Juliet has a brother, who we believe we might have seen, but since we cannot confirm it’s Romeo, we call that cat Black Cat (how original). We joke that Black Cat and the other strays that hang around are Juliet’s friends who stayed too late to drive home. I’d like to say they keep the mice at bay, but since my dad is a massive pushover, it mostly just means I buy cat food for a whole herd of cats. They are fun to watch though, so it’s a fair trade-off.


The canal filled up this week, which was super fun. I happened to come home from work just about 5 minutes before it started to fill. While all the animals and the house are obviously on the well, we use our shares of canal water to water the garden and pastures. The pasture really needs some water, but the irrigation has been an endless source of trouble this year. We will get it worked out soon, but springtime is when you find all the winter worn pieces that needed replacing. It will be really nice to have the irrigation working though, as the grasses need it, the horses love to cool off in it, and I like the added security during fire season of knowing my watering system is up and running.
They drain the canal usually just before the first predicted frosts, unless someone needs to keep it running longer, and they refill the canal with flowing water in April after most of the frost risk is gone. This year we had a couple late frosts, and some farmers who were watering already had some icy mornings chipping away at their frozen systems. It’s definitely a calculated risk to start watering earlier.
Well, that’s mostly it for us on the farm. Been a little slower this week. The plan for next week is to get some real riding done, get the irrigation up and running, burn some of our foliage pile (we lost a lot of limbs in the winds this year), and hopefully install a new gate latch on my arena gate, which I am ecstatic about. It’s been a hard gate to find a latch for, because it’s pretty janky, so fingers crossed that works and I can show you in upcoming posts.
Until we chat again, my friends!

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