Thursday, November 29, 2007

Old Family Photos & An Icy Morning

Another freezing morning at the ranch- ice in all the water buckets for the animals- I had to go around breaking the top of the ice so the donkeys and hens could get a drink!
I came upon old family photos and am starting to scan them to save them on the computer...and I had a successful outing today getting signatures to help get the Prevention to Farm Animal Cruelty Act on the 2008 ballot!

Toby and Paco and the stupid toy.

Ice from the donkeys' automatic waterer this morning!

Randy, Ben, Karina & Scott- from the cast of The Wizard of Oz!

Look closely for Toby in Randy's backpack!
Claire watches over her glass animal collection
Karina & Claire & cattle- somewhere in Nevada

Just Another Thursday at the Ranch

Donkeys on the run in the sun...Paco and Luigi are lucky to have one another- they hang out together all day- the neighbor walking by as I was heading back from my run this morning even commented on how he sees them running around on the hillside when he drives by!
Luigi is starting to look like a mature donkey!

Lunch...discovered roasted pumpkin seeds with tamari- very good!
On November 29th, 1877-Thomas Edison demonstrated his phonograph for the first time.
(Apparently he had better things to do than take some donkeys and other animals out for a walk!)

Toby's obsession with something other than a ball: a weird piece of fluff that he's tried to bury several times. The appeal is that it squeaks!
Paco with some attitude on a stroll.
The whole crew is out...a typical scene!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Whassup on a Wednesday at the Ranch

Donkeys play in the morning sunshine- watch out for those back kicks!!! How long can this November warm weather hold on? Paco and Luigi are taking advantage of the dry days to run around without slipping in the mud. Both seem completely "back to normal" after the gelding operation and are up to their regular speed- and they are FAST! It is like being at the races on our own property!

The Hidden Life of Pigs
President Harry Truman stated, “No man should be allowed to be President who does not understand hogs.” Most people know very little about these fascinating animals. In fact, pigs are curious and insightful animals thought to have intelligence beyond that of an average 3-year-old human child. They are smarter than dogs and every bit as friendly, loyal, and affectionate. When in their natural surroundings, not on factory farms, they are social, playful, protective animals who bond with each other, make beds, relax in the sun, and cool off in the mud.
Since most people are not that familiar with pigs, you may be surprised to learn that they dream, recognize their names, play video games more effectively than some primates, and lead social lives of a complexity previously observed only in primates. People who run animal sanctuaries often describe pigs with human characteristics, because they’ve learned that, like humans, pigs enjoy listening to music, playing with soccer balls, and getting massages. Scientists and scholars who have studied pigs say that pigs are the smartest animals outside of primates (and pigs even outclassed some primate species in some intellectual areas).

An "egg sign"- to point out where the eggs are!

Blast from the past...
guess who is driving the tractor?

Definition of "Whassup"
What's up is an informal question meaning, depending on situation and emphasis: "what are you doing", "how are you", "what is happening" or "what gives." It is sometimes used as an informal, casual greeting in itself. This expression was made popular by the cartoon character Bugs Bunny who used it as early as 1940 as part of his catch phrase "What's up Doc?" (where each word was pronounced distinctly).
Whassup (sometimes spelled Wussup or wassup) is also a commonly used African American Vernacular English term of the same meaning. The phrase is often shortened to "sup", and this term is commonly used as Internet slang.
"What's up" is now rephrased in many ways, mostly for Internet slang and chatting. A few include:- "sup" - "waz up" - "wts up" - "wts new" - "waz crackalackin" - "waz happenin"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fascination with Quotes at the Ranch

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life - it goes on."
- Robert Frost

Lately I have been fascinated with quotes. I like to surf the web until I come upon one that seems to suit the moment. I like being able to read something with meaning that doesn't take all day to read. Or, to quote my husband, also a fan of quotes: "We like quotes because we are short-dose people!"

A beautiful day at the ranch- the animals are happy as usual- and I ran across the photos that really started it all- Paco and Luigi as babies!

Paco, age one day!
Luigi, age 10 days!

Lunch- pretty enough to warrant a photo!

Luigi and the speck of the daytime moon.
Noble ranch dog, Toby.

Paco, "Mama" and Solo!

Monday, November 26, 2007

What Others Have to Say

About Factory Farming:

“On profit-driven factory farms, veal calves are confined to dark wooden crates so small that they are prevented from lying down or scratching themselves. These creatures feel; they know pain. They suffer pain just as we humans suffer pain. Egg-laying hens are confined to battery cages. Unable to spread their wings, they are reduced to nothing more than an egg-laying machine. . . . The law clearly requires that these poor creatures be stunned and rendered insensitive to pain before [the slaughtering] process begins. Federal law is being ignored. Animal cruelty abounds. It is sickening. It is infuriating. Barbaric treatment of helpless, defenseless creatures must not be tolerated even if these animals are being raised for food—and even more so, more so. Such insensitivity is insidious and can spread and is dangerous. Life must be respected and dealt with humanely in a civilized society.”
Senator Robert Byrd (on the floor of the U.S. Senate, July 9, 2001)

As a civilized nation, we have an ethical obligation to prevent animal cruelty and to treat animals, including farm animals, as sentient beings. In doing so, we prevent intolerable suffering, and we elevate the human spirit.
-Mary Tyler Moore, Honorary Chair of Farm Sanctuary's Sentient Beings Campaign

Things to be happy about- the discovery of vegan chocolate chips (I made cookies tonight!) and the sight of my dog and donkey hanging out together...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sunday Hugs at the Ranch

There's nothing like a hug from two donkeys...and that's just all there is to say!

Paco and Luigi love their "Papa Hugs"!!

Paco & Luigi Have the Same Grandfather!!

No, not Grandpa Tom...(although he is also their grandfather!)...but
Indiana Jones of Carpenter Farm!
...and it turns out that he's quite a well-known sire in miniature donkey circles- at least according to the internet. Perhaps we'll take a trip with our boys to meet him- or invite him here for a visit!

Saturday morning with the donkeys!

Luigi loves French Roast coffee!

The official certificates of registration for Paco and Luigi- plus their family trees! Too small to read- but not only do they share the same grandfather, Indiana Jones of Carpenter Farm in Novato, California- they both have relatives from Texas! I thought I had detected a bit of an accent in their hee-haws!

Some other relative names worth noting: "Somebody's Pizazz", "Darlin' Clementine", "Tiny Tim" (Paco's dad!) and Schulz's Oracle (related to Snoopy?)...