Poor Luna is sick. She couldn’t get up when I let the others out. After a few false starts I managed to get her to her feet. Her feet and legs seemed fine. When she started moving the problem became clear. She kept circling to the left. She can not walk in a straight line or turn to the right. She can only travel towards her left. We had a ram with the same problem last year. Listeriosis! Also known as circling disease. Very bad news. It is caused by the listeria bacteria, which is often found in silage or wet feed. It causes inflammation of the brain stem and can be fatal. We don’t feed our girls silage and certainly don’t give them wet feed. It can also be found in soil and damp bedding.

It has been such a wet summer, so much rain. The girls often get soaked while they are out to pasture, then come in dripping all over their bedding pack. That is my suspicion, anyway. I called the vet for a consult and he agreed with my diagnosis. She will have to be on high doses of penicillin G 3 times a day for the next week. Hopefully we caught it early enough. That is really the only hope for survival. If it is caught too late it is pretty much always fatal. Riley, the ram, made it through OK. That is a definite advantage to having a small herd. When their behavior is off you notice right away.

Even though she was having a hell of a time getting around, Luna insisted on going out with the rest of the girls once I got her up. I went with her to help. The pasture the girls are on now is to the right after going out the barn door. She could not go that way. So, she staggered to the left and took the scenic route, following the fence around the barnyard until she got to the correct gate. She got along pretty well that way except when she got to the corners. I would have to pull her out of the corners and turn her in a left circle until she was facing the correct direction and let her go. The problem came when the rest of the girls headed back to the barnyard without her. I had to go get her. We ended up following the fence line back. She fell down trying to eat out of the grain tub, but she got up and made it to the water tub OK. After a few circles she made it to the hay manger and was munching happily away when I left the barn. I’ll be heading out shortly to give her tonight’s medicine. Keep your fingers crossed that she will make a full recovery.

While the girls were out I put down an extra layer of bedding and scrubbed out their water and feed tubs. Don’t want anyone else to come down with it!


We need to talk…


Me: Bear, we need to talk.

Bear: Scratches?

Me: Alright, I will give you scratches. But we need to talk about your weight. Your belly almost hangs down to your knees!

Bear (hanging her head): I know. I can’t seem to lose weight no matter what I do.

Me: Well, I have been cutting back on your food, hoping to help you lose weight. But I really wish you would stop yelling at me about it. It’s for your own good, you know.

Bear: More scratches?

Me: ~Sigh~ Yes, more scratches. But you need to lose weight!


Me: Moana, we need to talk. You’re too fat! You need to lose weight!

Moana: I am not fat! I’m a sheep. I am fluffy!

Me: Sissy sheared you last week. You are not fluffy now, but you are still fat!

Moana: I am big-boned!

Me: See this big belly right here? This thing that wobbles back and forth when you walk? That is no bone!


Me: Fatty Patty, we need to talk.

Fatty Patty: I’m busy right now. I am eating.

Me: That’s the problem. You eat too much. Look at you! Your back is like a dining room table!

Fatty Patty: A dining room table with food on it?

Me: ~Sigh~


Me: Freckles, we need to talk. You are too fat. You’re almost as wide as you are tall!

Freckles: You’re a fine one to talk about anyone else’s weight. Look at YOU!

Me: I know I’m too fat. But I am not in danger of being culled for being too fat! Besides, this is about you’re weight, not mine.

Freckles: Don’t you-fat shame me, Keen! I have rights, you know!

“Getting Dressed”

Keendays are the days when I get to babysit my nephew, Levi. He is the one who gave me the name Keen when he was just starting to talk. “Aunt Carleen” was too much for him to master, so I became “Keen”. Nowadays I am Aunt Keen.

Yesterday was a Keenday. After breakfast I sent him to his room to get dressed while I went out to the front porch to have a smoke. I had not quite finished my cigarette when he came out the front door, completely naked. He stood there on the top step, asking me one question after another about many random subjects. Finally I reminded him that he was supposed to be getting dressed and that every car driving past on the road could see his “business”. He said, “Oh, yeah.” and headed back to his room, ostensibly to put some clothes on.

After a few minutes I went to check on his progress to find this:


After drawing two ninja turtles and Shredder and convincing me to draw Splinter it was time to complete the process of getting dressed….


After accompanying himself on the guitar to “Bingo was his name-o”, dancing around the room, and inviting me to play a tune as well, it was REALLY time to get dressed…


AFTER a wrestling match with BigBear, running from one end of the house to the other a couple of times, and taking pictures of Mr. Magoo, the cat, on his camera, Aunt Keen was starting to lose her cool a little bit. “GET YOUR CLOTHES ON!” At which point he actually did open his dresser drawer and got some clean clothes out….


He actually put on some underwear, pulled his little tool box out form under the bed and proceeded to take inventory of all his tools, measure everything in his room with his little tape measure, and inform me he needed a “real tool belt” for his next birthday.

As he rambled on he began planning out what toys we were going to play with for Keenday. (Tinker toys first, then tractors) I reminded him that we couldn’t play anything until he PUT SOME CLOTHES ON! Oh, yeah. Finally, finally he actually put some on shorts and a shirt. (After a thoughtful consultation regarding which shorts and shirt combo would be best for the day.)

The whole process of “getting dressed” must have taken at least 45 minutes. I was exhausted. He was raring to go! And it wasn’t even lunch time yet….

Keenday Photo Session

Levi and I had planned on a Keenday picnic for our lunch, then a trip to the village pool before chore time. The weather, however, had different ideas. The rain started just as we had our food ready to head to our planned picnic spot. (Naturally.) So, we decided to have our picnic on Sissy’s front porch. It actually turned out to be an enjoyable meal. Sissy’s porch is deep enough for us to have plenty of room to be comfortable and to stay completely dry. At the same time we had a full view of Sissy’s flower bed, her front yard, along with the birds, chipmunks, snails, etc. that were out and about during the storm. After eating I wanted to get some shots of the rain soaked flowers. It was perfect. My camera and I were dry under the porch, yet the flowers were right there on the other side of the drip-line. Levi had just gotten fresh batteries in his camera that morning, so he was snapping lots of photos of his own. June, Levi’s dog, and Thomas, one of his cats, were also enjoying the rain from the dryness of the porch. It was cozy, cool, comfortable, beautiful, relaxing. Not the day we had planned, but a good Keenday none the less.