Tag Archives: homesteading

Breaking Out of Quarantine

Tuesday evening last week we had unexpected visitors. The police arrived at our door at 9:30 pm. We were already tucked in for the night because you know, social distancing and stuff means we stay home. My husband tried to talk to them from the second floor window. Cocoa was having none of that and his hysterical barking meant no one could hear themselves think.

Therefore, my husband put on some clothes and went to the front door. I couldn’t hear what was being said since Cocoa would not be calmed. A few minutes later, he came back in and said they needed to talk to me. So I put on my robe and grumbled my way downstairs to the door.

Turns out they were delivering a summons for me to appear at the ministerio publico on Thursday. I tried to ask what it was about, but they didn’t have any idea. They said if I didn’t appear, they’d come and take punitive action. I said I didn’t have any problem appearing on Thursday. It was my day off. 

So I fretted and speculated what this could be in relation to. Couldn’t come up with a thing. I woke up Thursday morning frazzled at 4 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. At 6, my husband heated a pot of water for my bucket bath. And I grumbled some more. The water delivery was scheduled for 9:30 am and since I had to be in town by 10:00 am, I wouldn’t be able to wait for it. So it was a bucket bath for me.

I zooped my butt to town on my moto and parked in the centro near the Chinese restaurant (so I could pick up an order after this appearance thing) and walked about a block to the ministerio publico. I signed in. I showed the guy at the front desk my paper and he sent me up to the third floor. I approached another guy at a desk and asked where I was supposed to be. He handed my paper off to another woman, who handed it off to yet a third, then went into an office to talk to a woman behind a desk. 

The girl came back out and asked me to wait downstairs in the seating area until they were ready for me. Since I was 15 minutes early, that wasn’t a problem. I brought my kindle. Eventually, I was called back upstairs and met with the woman in the office behind the desk. She looked to be about 20, but as she was the lawyer she must have been older than that–right?

Anyway, the reason for my visit was to inform me that the main office in Celaya had “misplaced” the original certificate that was involved in a court case several years ago. As a representative of the Asociación de La Yacata (I’m still technically the treasurer), she wanted to know if a new certificate could be issued. I said that I didn’t have the authority to do that. Any issuing would be done by Super Prez. 

Fortunately, he was also “invited to appear” that morning at 10:30 am. He also arrived 15 minutes early, which meant we didn’t have to wait for him. The situation was explained again. Super Prez said that instead of issuing a new certificate, we would provide a copy of the original that we had on file. The lawyer then went to the other lawyer for him to ask his client (the lot owner) if that would be acceptable. So we waited for that. 

In the meantime, Super Prez and I caught up on things. He had a construction digger stolen last year and was hoping this summons was to say that it had been found. It hadn’t been. Then I mentioned the rodeo across the street from La Yacata was going to have electricity run to it in the next few months. Representatives from the rodeo association had approached Azul the vet (who also has lots in La Yacata) to ask if we wanted to piggyback on their installation, for a fee mind you. Azul had come to me with this information and now I was sharing it with Super Prez. He said he’d look into it more, but the most we could hope to get out of it would be a post or two closer to La Yacata, which is something anyway. The rodeo is LITERALLY across the street–so it wouldn’t be out of their way to add another post or so to the project. We wouldn’t get electricity because that would require everyone that owns lots (all 700 of them) to agree to pay a portion of it and that’s never gonna happen. 

The other lawyer came back and said a copy would be acceptable to his client. So I would appear again in the office on Friday, with the copy, for the official handover. Not like I have other things to do or anything….like stay away from people. I seriously interacted with more people in one day than I have in weeks. Yes, they all had masks on, but there must have been 20 people in the “interrogacion” room. The lawyer’s mask kept slipping down her nose. GERMS! GERMS! GERMS!

Anyway, we were free to go after that. When I got home, my son was a bit stressed. The water delivery had arrived but one of our goats went into labor at the same time, so it was chaotic. The dogs get riled up when the truck pumps the water and the goat was hollering. My son took care of the firehose while my husband delivered the goat. It was an odd situation. Baby #1 arrived just fine. A second placenta, still intact, appeared. My husband didn’t think there was even a baby, but he took a second look, and lo and behold there was. It was half the size of the first baby. He tore the placenta open and helped out there. 

Notice the size difference!

So what I think we had was the goat was pregnant twice so the kids were different gestational ages. I read about this phenomenon (superfetation) just a little bit ago where this woman who was pregnant with twins got pregnant with baby #3 on her next ovulation cycle. Both the new kids are girls. The premie is weak, naturally, but giving it all she’s got. 

The day wasn’t done with us yet. The horses were out in the front pasture, which has a barbed wire fence around it. Red got loose from his mooring and jumped the fence. Lady was not to be outdone and jumped too. I saw both horses and their award-winning performances from the upstairs window. My son had to run out and round them up.

But we had the dilemma that the new momma goat and her two mismatched offspring were in Red’s stall. It took some doing to get the family moved to the rabbit area in the back. The roving borrega complicated things. The Puppers were befuddled. The mama was unwilling. The kids did not enjoy flying. Lots of squealing going on. Finally, everyone was settled, including the show jumpers. 

Friday came, and I headed back into town to deliver the copy of the certificate that was in the La Yacata files. It took all afternoon, but it got done. I hope I can stay home for a while and avoid people. 

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Read about more animal adventures!

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Demon Kitten

The other day, we were walking the dogs and we heard a kitten meowing from inside my brother-in-law’s house. Since he has a large pit bull and isn’t known for his love of cats, we were surprised. So we stopped for just a second and peered under the door. An extremely irate and small, fluffy cat burst vocalizing its dissatisfaction with everything.

All three dogs are several times larger than this kitten. The dogs began jumping around in agitation but this little kitty wasn’t backing up. We decided we needed to get the dogs out of there before someone got hurt. But the little beast followed us. It was obviously terrified. Its tail was four times its normal size. And yet it kept coming. It chased us around the block. And when we tried to get everyone in the house, it marched its butt right in, still meowing horrendously. 

I gave my son all three dog leashes and shut the door to the garage to round up the little kitty. However, as soon as I put it out, it dashed back in. It took three tries to get it out! It climbed the woodpile in front of the house and settled itself into my son’s window, still meowing. The pets lined up at the window to see the spectacle.

So thinking the cat was hungry, my son tried to give it food and water. Since we didn’t want it in the house, he snuck out the animal gate and left the supplies and dashed back in. It certainly was hungry and chowed down on the food like a ravenous monster, sound effects included. 

The evening dog walk was suspended since we were now virtual prisoners in the house. The next morning, I tried again to make friends with the little thing. I let it in the garage and gave it food and water. Instead of eating, it dashed past our pets, up the stairs, and zeroed in on Cocoa’s food dish. How it knew where that was, I’ll never know. Cocoa was having none of that and repeatedly flattened the kitten with his paw to try and get it to stop. 

I scooped it up and tried cuddles but it just would not be calmed. I tried more food, but it was still at a near-hysterical pitch. The way it was acting, I wouldn’t have been surprised if its head started spinning around. I finally had to put it back outside again. 

We snuck out for the morning dog walk when the coast was clear. On our walk, we found a cardboard box on the road near my brother-in-law’s house. We think someone had brought it here to dump, it took shelter in the house, but didn’t count on the big dog. When it heard us, it thought it was rescued and followed us home. And that’s where we stood.

I sent messages to animal lovers and found someone that would take the kitten. I tried to bring it into the garage for safekeeping until they arrived, but it climbed the walls to where we have our solar panel batteries. Fearful that it would get injured, my son put it back outside again. 

Finally, my artist friend Claudia came with a special cat backpack and we bundled the little guy up for his trip to his forever home. Whew! What a stressful couple of days. We are so relieved that the poor little mite found a home. We are well past animal capacity at the Flores ranchito, even if people keep leaving their beasties for us to find.

Here he is, snoodled up with his new friend.

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Animal Updates

Since we are trying hard-core to socially distance ourselves, our only regular companions these days are our animal buddies. Those of you with pets will understand how much comfort furry friends provide. Those of you who don’t, ought to adopt yourself a fuzz-buddy or two. The pandemic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, vaccine or no vaccine, and neither should you. Having some four-footed company will keep away the quarantine blues.

Fred and George Pupper are in the doghouse. Mostly Fred. One day last week my husband didn’t latch the gate correctly. Fred swooped in and caught two of the three rabbits housed in the back. We are assuming he thought they were large rats. Fred is an excellent rat catcher. Cocoa witnessed Fred’s transformation from fun-loving friend to killing machine and is still a bit traumatized by it all. Anyway, Fred must be tied until something is done with the final rabbit. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.  

We finally rehomed Terry. He has a bigger play yard and seems happy enough. He’s the only dog there, which he really needed to be with his dominance issues. Four dogs were too many for our little compound.

We had a bit of drama with Fuzz. Someone (my husband) left the front door open and Fuzz strolled out. There were people having clandestine family gatherings on our road, at least two groups. Well, one of the groups decided to take Fuzz with them when they left. He’s been cat-napped and we are so sad. We are still a bit in shock. I mean, after going through two near-death experiences and the deworming process, someone just ups and takes him. And his first time venturing out the door too. Well, what type of behavior can you expect from people having clandestine family gatherings during a pandemic, right?

Anyway, we are up to 6 kids in the Flores Goat kindergarten. They are just big enough to go out with the adult goats on the foraging run. My husband traded one of the older chivos for a borrego, so now we have a single borrego. He isn’t too old, less than a year perhaps. He likes to play with the kids. Up and down the road they go. Yesterday, the youngest chivita got “lost” and hysterically ran towards the horses that were tied out front. We all watched in horror, sure that she’d get herself trampled. She didn’t, but that ended recess for the day.

Rojo is being saddled trained. He’s doing well. Lady has figured out how to open her door and has been letting herself out nightly. Fred and George don’t mind the extra animal, but she’s eaten all the leaves off the coffee, nispero, and granada trees. Someone (my husband) needs to do something about that.

We seem to have founded a palenque (literally noise place but used in this area to refer to a place with many roosters mostly trained as cockfighters). We have 6 roosters in addition to 4 hens somehow. Although we aren’t training cocks, they fight continuously causing no end of noise throughout the day. I’m hoping some of them can be rehomed, sooner rather than later. It’s quite a cacophony in the morning. 

If you’ll remember, the neighbor’s cat Garfield had a litter of kittens a few weeks ago. She had them in the abandoned house on the other road. My son tried to encourage her to keep taking care of her babies by leaving food and water. After a few days, the kittens were gone. We feared the worst. There are stray dogs, coyotes, and all sorts of other dangers for newborn, helpless kitties.  However, the other night, two of Ms. Garfield’s offspring came to the front door for a handout. One looked like a mini-Garfield and the other was black and white. My son and I joked that they were meowing something that resembled “Mom told us to pick up the food order and here we are.”

Sadly, when Fuzz was cat-napped, so was Garfield Jr. The remaining kitten took up residence in our wood pile out front, so we brought her in after a day or two. There’s room and we have all this cat stuff. She’s a much sweeter kitty than Fuzz was. My husband hasn’t taken to her though–perhaps it’s too soon and he is still grieving Fuzz. Or maybe because Manchas (Spot) is female. Cocoa isn’t sure what to make of her. He wants to play, but Manchas is having none of that. We’ll see how it goes. Cocoa misses his Wrestlemania buddy.

We continue taking the Puppers and Cocoa on multiple walks around the block each day. That bit of sunshine and fresh air makes everyone happy. And year two of the pandemic continues….

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