Tag Archives: homesteading in Mexico

Magical Critters in La Yacata

Fuzz receiving chin rubs.

Fuzz has been with us for about a month now. He’s gone from a small fluffy bit of fur into a much larger curious beast intent on practicing his pouncing skills every time one of us comes out of the bathroom. His larger size has increased his jump height as well, so nothing is out of reach anymore. We’ve tried babyproofing some areas, but who’d have thought the baby could get up on top of the piano at his size and age?

Fuzz has also been working on training us to meet his demands. He enjoys chin rubs and belly tickles at regular intervals. His food consumption has increased and his way of letting me know that he needs more sustenance is to bite my toes furiously. 

He’s been pretty good about using the bathroom outside in his litter box. For a while, he was using my back porch planters as a giant toilet, but I’ve replanted it with spikey plants and that seems to have taken care of that. 

He’s learned how to let himself in and out of the house should we be tardy about opening the door. When he wants to go out, he launches himself full force with a running start at it, as if he’s on platform 9 ¾ with a luggage trolley heading to Hogwart’s. He can open the door from the outside when he’s really determined as well. He shimmies his paw underneath and pulls. He doesn’t always get it open enough to dash through but the banging he makes is enough to wake me from even the deepest slumber and open the door for him.

This morning, we left Fuzz alone in the house for about 30 minutes. We came back to complete chaos. He had gotten into a bucket of car oil my husband left in the garage and tracked it throughout the house. This meant a whole-house double-time mopping session and a bath for Fuzz which he didn’t enjoy at all. Not all the stains came up and my daybed cover is ruined.

Fuzz after his bath.

Our other animals are practicing their magic tricks as well. Terry chewed through his third leash in a fit of jealousy while we were walking the Puppers. Fred and George have discovered that if they team up with Lady, between the three of them, they can remove the bars that keep Lady in her stall so she can mosey on out for a sweet nispero leaf snack. They were so proud of themselves that my son didn’t have the heart to scold them. You should have seen their beaming faces and wagging tails. 

Fred has adopted his own chicken pet. Perhaps it’s his familiar? The rooster had been pecking the living daylights out of one of our gringa chickens. She took refuge with Fred and George under the rain tarp one day. Fred wouldn’t allow the rooster to come in out of the rain. Since then, Ms. Gringa eats, sleeps, and cuddles up with Fred, her savior. 

Wonders never cease around here!

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Lady and the Plow

My husband decided that he’s going to do some sharecropping again this year. He hasn’t the past few years because it’s really a lot of work and little gain. But, since we have these animals to feed during the dry season, it helps to have a small stockpile of fodder to hold us over.

The rainy season doesn’t officially start until the third week of June. This year, being 2020 the year of unpredictability and all, we’ve already had several light showers of rain in May–which hardly ever happens. So most of the farmers have been out barbechando (readying up) the fields. 

My husband tried to get a guy with a tractor to plow the area he had permission to plant on. It has lain fallow for about 5 years. The tractor guy did one row and called it quits. He said it was too rocky and he didn’t want to damage his equipment. 

So then he tried to get another guy who has two horses to plow up the field. That guy said he was too busy with his own fields to hire out. 

Now, we’ve plowed before. Fiona and our previous horses Red and Beauty, have done excellent work. However, my husband sold the plow. Actually, he sold the plow three times, after buying it back twice. Currently, we have no plow. So he rented one from a neighbor for the week for 200 pesos. 

He hitched Lady up to the plow and away they went. My husband was absolutely delighted with her performance. In fact, he was so delighted, he set her up a new stall in the back yard. She has more space, isn’t together with the goats so Jolina isn’t jumping in her food dish, and can be entertained by Fred and George’s gladiator antics. 

Unfortunately, she stripped the guayaba tree of its leaves overnight and keeps knocking over the rain barrel. She also has been biting the wood on the bars around her corral. My husband was worried that she had a vitamin deficiency or some other issue, but when I looked it up, most experts believe horses bite the wood of their enclosures because they are bored. We all know that Lady is too smart for her own good. Remember how she kept opening the door for the goats?

Lady’s new area doesn’t have a gate yet, just those bars that you have to slide all the way out for her to come out. My husband keeps saying he’ll get to it, but he’s got other things on his plate at the moment. He went on a caminata (community horse ride) last week to Los Amoles (and brought us home a cold) and is going on another one this week (and will probably bring us home another virus). As a result of his “busy-ness” none of the quarantine projects are finished yet, including Lady’s new stall. (Can you tell I’m just a tad bit annoyed?)

Anyway, it rained this week, so some seeds went into the ground. We’ll see how Tlaloc treats us in La Yacata this year!

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Jolina’s Kids

We’ve been waiting since nearly the moment of conception for Jolina’s kids to be born. They finally arrived and what a story we have here. First, she was busy giving birth in the goat corral and the other nanny goats started head butting her. Jolina has never been accepted by the herd, probably because she is my husband’s favorite. 

If her stomach had allowed it, she would have been already outside the corral with Terry, but she hasn’t been able to do any acrobatics this last week. So my husband and son ran out to save the day. Jolina had a baby half-in, half-out, and scampered out of the corral as fast as her delicate state would let her. 

In short order, Joel and Nina (yes twins) arrived. Jolina had enough of that sort of stuff and ignored her kids for the next two hours. To be fair, she did have a fairly traumatic birth experience. That didn’t stop her from chowing down a good supply of alfalfa though. 

Papa Chivo, AKA my husband, finally held Jolina still so her kids could nurse. Twice more he went out and forced Jolina into submission. I told my husband that I thought Jolina was a dud when it came to motherhood. He was mortally offended. How dare I insult his favorite pet?

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Jolina doing what she does best–eat!

By morning, Jolina was responding to her kids’ cries. My husband tied her in the food corral (otherwise she’d eat everything in sight) and her kids figured out how to help themselves to the milk supply. 

joel and nina

Nina looks just like her mother and Joel looks like Grandaddy Elvis.

Joel and Nina have certainly inherited their mother’s propensity for hollering and her circus tricks. Not 20 minutes after birth, one of the twins was inside the barrica (barrel) set up as a barrier to keep Red from bothering them, while the other was pushing it along. Another rescue was in order before they headed over Niagara Falls in that barrel.

They are good sized and healthy. The only issue we have is where to keep them. Terry had to be moved to the new garden area last night because his hysterical antics were making Jolina even worse. Fuzz is on the back porch. The Puppers are in the back yard. The corral has been divided for Lady and the goats. Red has his own stall. We just don’t have the space for more animals right now! Well, I guess we’ll do what we can.

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