The past few weeks have been incredibly busy. Between working long hours, trying to get laundry done (and not succeeding), trying to cook dinner a few times a week (not a lot of success there either), and more, I'm forgetting a lot of routine stuff, like:
Luckily, Stasia's looking good. She regained much of the weight she lost over the summer, and her winter coat is growing in. She also regained the sparkle in her eyes and the spring in her step. I no longer fear she won't make it through the winter; regardless, winter will be hard on my beloved geriatric mare. I must do better about ensuring the constant (and large) caloric doses she needs to maintain a healthy weight. Equine senior feed's expensive when you go through 18 - 24 lbs. per day for just one horse. No one ever said caring for a 34-year old horse was cheap or easy.
We also discovered that Stasia doesn't like Rural King's house brand of senior feed. It has no--or not enough--molasses. So much for that experiment. Back to SafeChoice Senior Feed. Or Purina Equine Senior. She likes that one, too.
I've lots to do yet to prepare for winter. Folks who don't have large livestock don't really understand the logistics. There ain't no app for that. It's all elbow grease and money spent. Good thing I love these animals.
So, the logistics. Consider forage. The average 1,000 lb. horse requires 20 lbs. of food daily. The average square bale of hay weighs 40 - 50 lbs. When I had a full complement of livestock (3 horses and 14 llamas and alpacas), I calculated the need for 15 tons of hay necessary to get them from December 1 through April 1. That's a lot of hay and didn't include the round bales purchased and deposited in the pasture for free choice "grazing." Round bales, by the way, incur a lot of waste. Expect to lose 30% (approx. 200 lbs.) of a "small" round bale to animal depredations and inclement weather.
This year's growing season favored rice, not hay, so hay is really expensive this year. I'm glad to enough left over from last year's crop to feed Stasia through the winter. Of course, hay deteriorates and loses nutrients--and Stasia's dentition isn't what it used to be--so that, too, requires supplementation via concentrated feed. Anymore, Stasia gets most of her nutrition from the pelleted senior feed which she can "gum" if necessary.
But you're tired of hearing about good "horsekeeping." So, let's segue into another 4-legged critter living at Karen's Home for Wayward Animals.
Brutus got his monthly depo shot on Monday morning. Brutus is one of our six indoor cats and a true asthmatic. The veterinarian warned us that monthly steroid shots would shorten his lifespan. Well, not breathing will shorten it even sooner and quickly, too. Brutus is tolerant of many things, not the least of which is the harness and leash. Getting him into a carrier is really difficult, so harness and leash substitute for confinement and control--well, as much as one can control a cat. The next two months' shots are scheduled, as well as the dog's annual checkup and vaccinations.
So, what gives?
Apparently, I do as shown by missed blog entries.
Last week I made no progress on any of my own manuscripts. Paid work is hitting my desktop hot and heavy with writing two newsletters due this month and editing for a magazine due this month. I sent off a new ghostwriting contract to a current client who wants me to write a nonfiction business guide for her. I expect project to start in November. Other ghostwriting project proceed apace. And, in the meantime, I try to keep up with the limited social media in which I engage.
I'm not complaining. Having a full platter is good. It pays the bills and keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. I think I've somehow inherited the elder son's time management skills. He claims he has the time management skills of a carrot. Time management skills, like my handwriting, have devolved into general chaos. After triple-scheduling last Saturday, I'm making more and better use of Google Calendar to keep me on track.
I have committed to releasing a fifth book yet this year. That means I need to get my butt in gear.
Wish me luck.