HONEY ROCK DAWN

2016 Charlie Calendars!

2016 Charlie Calendar

The 2016 Charlie Calendar is ready to debut!
This is CCIX (Charlie Calendar #9), can you believe it?

I picked our favorite images from the last year (those which received the most comments on The Daily Coyote) and added a little something new this year – or should I say, a little something old? A baby picture! I couldn’t resist, and I had a feeling you all would love it, too.

Please visit THE SHOP to see larger pictures and reserve your calendar.

PS: I can talk now! More on that in my next post……

This, That, & the Other

My nasopharynx was deflowered last week. After huffing a numbing solution that tasted like diesel and wasn’t particularly effective, a long tube with a light and camera on the end of it was sent up my nose and down my throat by my laryngologist so she could see my vocal cords live and in action. I get to do this again tomorrow, with the added bonus of gigantic needles! My doc will send the camera back up my nose and down my throat, then go straight into my neck with said needles, and, with the aid of the live video, inject the musculature behind my left vocal cord to poof it up. Hopefully, this will help me talk longer, louder, and more easily. It’s craaaaazy how much I took my voice for granted before all this.

Charlie calendars are coming!! They really are. I’m still running behind in every aspect of life, but the 2016 Charlie Calendar is at my printer and I’ll have previews and the shop listing up next week. Stay tuned! And thanks for your patience. It’s a little bit late but as fabulous as ever.

Thanks, also, for all the Eli love. I cannot believe I have to actually type the following, but: Charlie did not kill Eli. Got a lot of Qs about this. They lived together for nearly a decade; if that can’t squash the cynicism, what can?

To end on a more frivolous note…. my latest Netflix binge is The Great British Baking Show. It’s the antithesis of Top Chef (which I also love). It’s so friendly and polite, though the matriarch judge makes a spectacular WTF face, and she makes it often. It’s full of strange bakes such as three-tiered pork-prune pie. The tiers, here, not meaning layers within one pie but three giant stacked pies, like a wedding cake of savory pie. Sounds disgusting to me, but it’s fun to watch.

King Kitten

edp3

I knew, when I posted a picture of Mushy on Instagram, I’d get a question about Eli. I also felt a twinge of weirdness when I posted, a couple of weeks ago, that everyone in the Farmily is doing great. It’s true – everyone here is great. But Eli isn’t here anymore. I am really having a hard time with this – even though it happened a while ago, this is honestly the first moment I’ve had it in me to acknowledge it here. And that’s as far as I can go right now – just acknowledging it. I have a lot written which isn’t ready for public consumption, but when it is, I’ll share it. For now, I’m just going to cry again.

Catch Up & A Chicken Contest

Ahoy! I started a new dose of thyroid meds about ten days ago and am finally feeling RIGHT. It’s so nice. It’s so easy! Every day is no longer a battle, as it has felt for the past six months. I wake up smiling again, like I used to. I am so glad.

I did find out that one of my vocal cords is paralyzed due to nerve trauma during surgery. The nerve is not severed, so it’s possible it will heal and my voice will come back. In the meantime, I am scheduled for a temporary fix: an injection of collagen right into the vocal cord. This plumps it up enough to move the cord to the midline, so the other working vocal cord can meet it and make strong sounds – right now, there is an air gap, which is why my voice is weak and breathy. It’s a simple office procedure and, like a Real Housewife’s face, it’s temporary – the collagen will eventually be absorbed by the body. At that time, I’ll know if the nerve has healed or if I need to repeat the injection or have a permanent procedure done.

One of the boons of my lengthy recuperation has been the chance to devour a giant stack of books. I just finished I Am Malala. INCREDIBLE. So riveting, so profoundly beautiful, so worth your time if you’ve not read it yet. (The audio version is great, too).

The Farmily is excellent, everyone is peaceful and happy and well. Maia has become mother of the year, always doting and protective, and Luna is thriving. And the chicks are nearly grown up! I always wondered how many would be roosters and how many would be hens, and it is almost clear. In about two weeks, I think we will know for sure who is what. In the meantime, let’s bet!

There are six little birds in total – how many will be hens and how many will be roosters? Leave your guess in the comment section. The correct answer will win one of my special Wyoming care packages, filled with treasures made by Mother Nature and me.

dos chickies

If multiple people guess the correct rooster:hen ratio, all names from that group
will be raffled randomly to select the winner – so go with your gut!

tres chickies
Photo taken June 27. They are much bigger now.

Love Connection

Spoiler: Maia and Luna are a happy pair! After two days of using the squeeze chute to allow Luna to nurse safely and easily, it was time to transition to a more natural method – we didn’t want Luna to associate the squeeze chute with food and have that override her instinctual connection with Maia. Though Maia never really kicked at Luna – she favored headbutting – we decided to put the hobbles on Maia as we did last year, in hopes of keeping Maia standing still so Luna could nurse. Straight out of the gate, Maia figured out how to bunny-hop with the hobbles on, taking a step with her front legs and jumping forward with her back legs together. When Luna approached to suckle, Maia pivoted, violently headbutted Luna, and then ran away with her bunny-hops. Maia could cover some serious ground with her bunny-hopping, crossing the entire length of the corral in two seconds flat.

So we took off the hobbles and came up with another contraption to protect Luna from the headbutting. We clipped two horse cinches together with a carabiner, and tied them on Maia behind her shoulders. I then put a halter on Maia, and tied the lead rope to the cinch. Maia could still eat and drink, and get up easily and safely, but she didn’t have the full range of motion to headbutt with any force. Since Maia had never worn tack before, Mike was nervous about an epic protest in the form of bucking and snorting, but that never happened. Instead, she stood calmly beside me like a seasoned saddle horse as I fiddled with the halter and cinch and all the knots. Such a gentle, patient cow! Now we just needed to transfer that patience and trust to her baby.

With this contraption in place, we brought Luna over to Maia, and though Maia no longer whacked Luna with headbutts, she still wouldn’t stand still for Luna to nurse. So Mike took off his shirt and tossed it over Maia’s face. Maia, unable to see anything, stopped moving around, and Luna had her meal. We gave Maia plenty of hay to relax and distract her.

LML

We couldn’t just leave Maia blindfolded, and didn’t trust her with Luna yet. Though Maia could no longer forcefully headbutt, there was still a chance that, if left together, Luna could accidentally get cornered and Maia could really hurt her. So, between meals, we kept them in adjacent sections of the corral, where Luna and Maia could see and hear and smell one another. I cuddled and brushed Luna and gave her some of the physical attention she wasn’t getting from her mother, and we brought them together for meals three times a day. We often found them lying side by side, with just the rail fence between them.

At meal time, either Mike or I (whoever was on duty) would toss a flannel shirt over Maia’s face and tie the arms under her chin, and open gates for Luna, who would run to Maia and plug onto a teat. As the days went by, we began taking the flannel off Maia midway through Luna’s nursing sessions and observe Maia’s behavior – sometimes she’d get antsy and angry and we’d put the flannel back on; sometimes, she’d stand calmly and nuzzle Luna. We began leaving them together after meal time and watching their behavior, and, once we felt we could trust Maia not to hurt Luna, we left them together overnight. The next morning, I walked down to the corral at first light and caught them in the act – Maia was standing calmly, of her own volition, as Luna nursed. Hooray! It just took a little darkness and time, patience and creativity, and trust in love.

In other news ~

I will be taking my Shop offline tonight (July 1) for all of July and much of August. If you would like to stock up on presents, prints, elk antler chew toys, books, or special stones, today is your last chance!

I will be delivering Star Brand Beef to Denver! Delivery will be Friday, August 14th and ordering will be open till mid-July.

The baby chicks have turned into mini chickens….
mini chicken

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