Down by 14, remaining steady on 3 and 4

It seems our excitement about 14 new mouths to feed was premature…. Our ducklings are all gone! One day they were here, then they were gone.

Wayne had seen them waddle up to the ‘feeding area’ with the parents one day and then they were never seen again. We thought they might have moved away cause the mothers were out of sight as well. But then the mothers returned… without ducklings.

Wayne saw one little guy swimming on the dam, right up against the reeds. We figure now he was trying to stay invisible. The general consensus around here is that the crows or hawks got the ducklings.

We’re devastated.

On a positive note, everyone else is doing fine. The crows haven’t got them!

Dancer is turning into a very affectionate little girl. She comes up to greet us when we get home after work and always wants a pat and her butt scratched. Incidentally, that butt is getting bigger!

The boys are both hanging around for attention in the afternoons too. Ben seems to be recognising me as his person now, unless there’s food involved, in which case he’ll just follow the closest bucket. We spend a bit of time together most afternoons, either just hanging out in the paddock giving eachother kisses (ok, ok, I confess, its mostly me giving him kisses!) or working together in the half-done round yard or at the box.

Did I mention I have box in the middle of the paddock? Its my ‘mounting block’ and my job has been to get him used to it so that when the time comes to use it to mount him he wont freak out. So I take out a brush and stand on the box and brush him, leaning over his back, walk up to and over the box, jump off it in front of him, make noise on it, etc. I think he’s come to think of that box as his safe place! Yesterday he got away from Wayne when they were working without a rope and he headed off to the box where he stopped and looked at me as if to say “Mommy, come save me!”

Turns out I’m good at handling, loving up and desensitising animals to things. After all, I’m good at grooming reluctant dogs. What I’m not good at is handling rope, whips or getting a horse to lunge. I’m forever getting tangled up in rope (trying Wayne’s patience) and Ben is forever testing me out cause he just doesn’t seem to take me seriously when its time to work.

The dogs are all great. Montana and Romeo look incredible in their short trims, more like twins than mother and son. I love looking at them. Barney is a little brat, he’s through a door before you even know he’s in the vicinity. Sometimes he’s so fast going through any open door that he ends up locked up in sheds. Stupid dog. Mischa is still hesitating at the door. “Are you sure I can come in? Really?”

Other than that, all is going well. Wayne’s finished the floor in the casita. We can walk across it now without having to balance on joists. Now I think it needs a coat of primer/undercoat and a topcoat of something water resistant. I can’t wait to clean out and deck out my workshop part of the casita. I have so many projects in my head I want to get on with.

The garden is starting to come together. Not so much the actual garden… rather my potted plants. I’ve repotted the 21 lavenders into larger pots till I have the ground ready for them to go in. I have started the spots for the hydrangeas but according to advice, I need to put them a bit further from the wall of the house than I’d originally planned. So it will be a couple of weeks till I have the time to prepare a wider bed for them.

I’ve chosen the colour I want to paint the house. I saw a house in the city which I just love. Mind you, the style of house is gorgeous where ours is a plain farmhouse, but the colour is just what I wanted for here. So I put a note in their letterbox asking what colour they’d used and they emailed me. How great is that? I now have sample pots of those colours and another I saw when I was searching. I just need to find the time to paint one window frame in Antique White USA and then paint sample swatches around it to make a choice on the timber colour. Then I’m all set to paint the house! šŸ™‚ Just don’t hold your breath. Its a BIG job.

Its all a matter of slowly working on things and one day this place will be gorgeous. I mean, its already home and we love it, but one day it will be pretty to look at as well!

Its been a very long, hot and tiring day. I’m glad I’m home, surrounded by my family. Now if only the TV would work properly…

z

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