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Showing posts from August, 2021

Taking Care of a Miniature Horse

  You may recall Reggie the Miniature Horse from our holiday posts, such as the Fourth of July parade or his Merry Ho Ho visit  at Christmas time.  Reggie is a joy to hang out with.  We recently had the pleasure of taking care of him and the barn cat, Barney, for a couple weeks while their owners were camping. In addition to giving Reggie his food every day (he eats part of a flake of hay morning and evening, along with a couple treats, like half a carrot or an apple), our daughter also made sure he had adequate water, cleaned out his stall, and we brushed him.  We also had social play time with Reggie each day. Miniature horses are amazingly bright and spirited. We loved hearing his excited neigh when we entered the barn.  It was also fun to play ball with him and encourage him to interact with us when giving him his treats. Did you know that there are many animals that enjoy music?  We decided to experiment with this when we were taking care of Reggie. Would he enjoy music as much a

We Stumbled Upon an Abandoned Cemetery

My husband has been reading a local history and true crime book, Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest , by Gregg Olsen.  He had a hard time putting the book down as the story was so compelling. Starvation Heights is the nickname given to the sanitarium created by Linda Hazzard, a self-appointed doctor and "fasting specialist" who didn't actually have a medical degree or any formal training.  In the early 1900s, as part of her treatments, she intentionally starved a number of her patients to death. She also swindled her wealthy victims, convincing them to turn over all of their money and property to her before they died. Well, coincidentally it had been a while since we'd gone out on an afternoon drive, and so I managed to convince my husband that we should take a drive and see if we could find the remains of the building that had served as Linda Hazzard's sanitarium.  It was located out near Puget Sound in the

Donkey Play Time

Guess who we babysat this past week?  Patch the donkey!! It is always a joy to be able to take care of Patch.  Patch is a friendly, gentle donkey who loves his treats and enjoys play time.  Did you know that donkeys like to play?  Among our donkey friend's play toys are pool noodles, tug-of-war ring toys, and a ball with a handle.  Patch also has one of those toys that you put peanuts inside (the kind of peanuts with the shell still on) - he pushes the toy around so that the peanuts fall out. We made a short video so that you could see what Patch can do.  Here it is: In case you missed it from a previous blog article, here's the video we made the prior time we babysat Patch.  In it, you can hear the noise that Patch makes multiple times a day.  He makes this noise whenever he sees his family drive by (he recognizes their car!), and when they go into the barn (he's excited to be fed and played with) and at various other times during the day.  We can hear his loud bellow from

Robber Bees Stole Everything

The other day, a swarm of angry, hungry honeybees from a neighbor's hives came over and began fighting with our bees, trying to get into our hives.  We realized this was happening after they had already been there awhile, as we could see a pile of dead bees in front of our hives as well as the unusual activity of the angry swarm.  The bees were coming directly to our hives from the neighbor's property behind our house, where they also have two beehives. I followed the robbing bees to see for sure where they were going, and sure enough, they headed straight back to his hives. His bees are darker in color and more aggressive than ours.  He has told me that he has Italian honeybees, but that is what we have, and his bees look more like Carniolans. I watched his bees go back and forth from our hives to his for several days. To try to save our bees, we adjusted the entrance reducer to the smallest opening. We also duct taped along the lids and middle of the hives to make sure no bee