Friday, March 15, 2019

Not for Naught

It is with great regret that I share a desperate plea to rehome some of our donkeys. Unless someone is interested in adopting the whole herd, I will leave Dominick and a partner behind for now. Until I see if I can make due. However, if someone can keep them together... I’d be ecstatic. 

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled physically for some time now. In addition, we’ve had a rather devastating financial blow. It was nothing I could have prevented, and I did try to remedy with a caretaker position. However, that applicant had a change of heart and is no longer looking to fill that position. I’m hurting, exhausted, and taking years off my life trying to survive (especially in the cold)  when on my own. It’s getting harder and harder and I see the writing on the wall. I tried my best, as long as I could. 

This is not how I wanted our story to end. And depending on who is willing to adopt some of our donkeys, maybe it won’t. But I know I can’t afford or maintain a herd of 5 on my own. 

That said, please know this is breaking my heart and I know they are all better off for the time we shared. It made a difference. I know that. I just wasn’t done yet. But I can barely use my hands/crutches to get out of bed somedays... so something has to give. My kids need me. My family needs me. Even my house needs tending to, and I just can’t catch up sacrificing what strength I have to all donkeys, all the time. I just can’t. I’m sorry. 😔💔

Thank you for the overwhelming response. Please, let me clarify a few things:

1. Proximity is paramount. I WILL be coming to check your farm. Call your vet. Inquire about your farrier. This is not a simple business transaction and a quick exchange. I did not kill myself for years rehabbing to throw that away. So please, be patient, kind, and understanding. No, no one else can do this for me. I alone (perhaps with other board members or volunteers) will visit and see/learn/hear for myself. I must. 

2. They are not free. I don’t expect much, but I’m not going through a vetting process to rehome so someone can flip them to make some quick cash. I’m not saying that is what anyone responding will do, I’m just saying I’m aware it happens, and not on my watch. 

3. There will be some paperwork. I will have first right of refusal and must be contacted prior to any further rehoming or selling of these creatures. They are my world and this is killing me. If that doesn’t suit you, that’s ok. These are not the donkeys for you. 

4. Ruthie (our mother donkey) was severely overbred. She must never ever be bred again. Period. I can’t stress that enough. 

5. Please message me directly if possible. I’m swamped with commentary and it was shared many times so it’s easy to miss someone. Please reach out through the farm’s messenger and I will get back to you. 

Apologies for the lengthy requirements... but this is not selling a used car or piece of furniture. While I’m hurting everyday, I’m not so desperate that I will ever just “need them gone”. That is not me. I will drag myself down to my barn on my hands and knees first. I want to do this right. To a forever home. NOT just burden another rescue. SO PLEASE, DO NOT RECOMMEND OTHER RESCUES OR BROKERS OF ANY KIND.  I hope you all understand. 😔🙏🏼

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Our Story...The Long Version

Its been quite some time, but before another event passed us by...another hiccup throws us around...or another unfortunate event knocks us down...I needed to say, THIS.

In 2010, I was a paid professional firefighter for the City of Kingston. It was, in its brief existence, the most fulfilling and amazing job I not only strived to have for years, but relished in once I had it. It was, for all intents and purposes... my dream job. It was hard, challenging, and gave me such pride that it made me feel like giving back in this capacity was not only rewarding, but I was actually lucky enough to get PAID to do it! Sadly, months later my exciting and long-awaited career came to a screeching halt. Just two days before Christmas, I was on an aerial truck ladder doing suppression at a now rather controlled structure fire. The firefighter on the platform made a tragic mistake, and accidentally retracted the ladder while I was standing on it high above. My right leg was pinned and foot crushed between the rungs, and in a perfect storm of unfortunate events...the limb became unrepairable. After several surgeries and failed attempts to overcome infections, heal soft tissue, repair crushed bones, and restore a labyrinth of misrouted nerves that were either severed or malaligned...the decision to amputate became the best possible option. After just over 2 years of trying to fix what was slowly killing me, my right leg was amputated below the knee in February of 2013. While I mourned the loss of my job likely more than the loss of my limb, I’ve never regretted losing the leg and have been better for it ever since. That's not to say that being an amputee is easy...not at all. But not living in constant, chronic, can’t escape the unbearable discomfort in your own skin pain... that was a plus. No more narcotics, drooling on the couch unable to live a normal life, wallowing in my misfortune and pain. Losing my leg ultimately saved my life...Im sure of it...but now what? Now what do I do? Who am I? Where do I go from here? Well...that was the long journey to where I am today.
Chickens Are My Gateway Drug
As I lay feeling sorry for myself on my living room couch, days in the same pajamas, no shower, no motivation, sleep deprived and limiting my narcotics as best I husband (Saint Pete) did an amazing thing. He brought home a bunch of chickens and said, “There. Now go do something with these chickens. I’ll build a bigger coop.” Maybe set something up in that big empty barn we aren’t using much. Maybe get some other animals. But GET UP. Get going and DO SOMETHING. Take a shower. Find a purpose. Have a routine. So, even before I lost the leg...I drug my sorry ass out there in PJ’s and 1 Muck Boot, to do chickens. Often on crutches. Limping along in an orthopedic shoe or sneaker...but I tried. Now, you’d think my children, just babies at 1,2,and 6 would be motivation enough. But don’t judge me, they weren’t. I love my kids with my whole heart, don’t get me wrong. But I was never a “stay-at-home” Susie Homemaker type. That just wasn’t me. So...yeah. Chickens. ;-)
Lost & Found
Chickens led to ducks, and a pond, and then some tough decisions. The leg had to go, but what will that look like? What will I do? How do I get by independently? I wasn’t sure, but I banked on the fact that I wouldn’t be in such pain anymore and THAT was all I really needed. Sleep is something that means little to you until you can’t have it, no matter how hard you try. When you are so overcome with discomfort and frustration, exhaustion and pain. Pain that doesn't leave you, no matter what you try to do to make it better (or see if it gets worse). Pain that is constantly there, nagging you, questioning you, taunting you to try one more procedure. Take one more prescription of pills. Overcome one more endless, sleepless night of feeling alone and desperate. And then...hope. Hope in the form of, wait for it...more pain? Oddly yes. And even on surgery (Leg-Lop) day, I was at peace. Peace that I knew I couldnt keep living like I was living, but the chance to get rid of dead weight and move forward (literally and figuratively) was a chance I was willing to take. Shortly after waking up from surgery, I’ll never forget feeling pain and asking myself, wondering, if it was the same pain or different pain. Indeed it was different. There was something I could do to make it better or worse, and it was glorious. I wasnt sure where I was headed, but I slept like a baby for days and for the most part, those days have been behind me ever since.
Goats and Dogs and a Horse ...Oh My!
As I healed, I found solace in my animals. The ducks gave way to a couple goats, and then a couple rescue dogs. Lastly, after a momentous and near death mountain climbing excursion that about killed me (I may be exaggerating a bit) among a group of other disabled folks...I came home and decided maybe we could manage a horse. Of course the horse needed a friend, and BAM! Donkeys.
Dominick The Christmas Donkey
Dominick was the first donkey here at the farm, and the only one truly purchased. He came in December 2015 as a companion to our Halflinger horse Polly, who could honestly care less about Dominick. Still, he was cute as a button and I doted on him constantly. He came from some folks out in Jeffersonville who had his mom and dad, Harry & Ruthie. They were in rather rough shape with feet untrimmed and curled like elf shoes, but the folks that had them truly did love them and meant them no harm. Sometimes folks don’t realize neglect if they don’t truly understand what is needed. In this case, farrier care to trim hooves, and medical care to castrate a very obese, older jack and save an equally obese overbred jenny were first on the list. While I offered help and resources of folks that might be able to help, it seemed the couple was quite firm in managing on their own, but said they would try to get them care from a friend who offered help. Fine enough. So, I brought my new donkey home and figured we’d be a one horse/one donkey show, and that was that. Until...what I can only describe as The Calling.
The Calling
A year almost to the day, those same folks with Harry & Ruthie called me and asked if I was interested in another donkey. Clearly then, Harry had not been castrated based on this new baby donkey. While I wasn’t really in the market for another donkey (a Jenny named Josephine), I was worried and concerned for Harry & Ruthie so, upon consideration of the “possibility” of another donkey, I brought my friend Steve out to meet the gang and maybe offer some advice to the folks who had them. Since Steve had connections, maybe we could offer them a way out to bring the donkeys to a rescue? Not ME mind you, but a legit, other rescue that was willing to take them in and get them care they needed. Long story short, they agreed and I was simply the transport. Meanwhile, my sweet Polly passed away due to a neurogenic (likely Lyme) condition, so the thought of a friend for Dom was promising.
I Should Know Better
You know, when someone passes a bucket of sh*t around, and everyone else is smart enough to keep passing it, and there’s that ONE person who cracks the lid to look inside...? That’s me. I should’ve known there would be complications. While Ruthie and Harry are a bonded pair (donkeys often have bonded mates they are attached to and mourn, cry even, if they are separated) and had a young foal, the couple stressed that they wanted Harry and Ruthie to be kept together. Rightly so. I agreed. And, that was the plan. Until...the Rescue organization realized Harry was not in fact castrated. That was a bit of a game changer, along with a couple other snafoos along the way, so....yada,yada,yada...the donkeys came to live with me. But ONLY till I found them homes. Together. Just before the holidays. In winter. Needing all sorts of medical care. Yeah, they were NOT a hot sellers, and I couldn’t rehome them together anywhere that either didn’t have adequate shelter, refused to keep them together, and certainly no one wanted a fully in tact, older jack. The baby on the other hand...she was a keeper.
End Of the Year Sale: Five for the Price of One!
So now it’s the end of November 2016, and while looking for a reasonable home for these two older donkeys, we had to get them proper care. While I was able to get them farrier care and change their nutrition almost immediately, vaccinations came next, and lastly...but most needed...was to clip the cohones of that baby-making stud Harry. Poor Ruthie was so very overbred. I promised her a life of Girls Nite outings, Happy Hour watering hole drink specials, and kid free cardio sessions to get that mom bod back into shape. Sadly upon just a few weeks with us, it was apparent she had another little one already cooking. Ugh. Well, I certainly wanted to wean Josephine properly, but then there is the stress of another baby, and then she must wean THAT little one...oh Lord. What have we done! By now it’s Summer of 2017 and I’m in deep. How am I ever going to financially care for FIVE donkeys? So, Sweet Ass Farm is created and a 501c3 journey is begun.
The farm became a full fledged 501c3 in November of 2017. Exactly one year after this crazy idea of having a herd of donkeys fell in my lap (or walked into my trailer, I guess). At any rate, it’s been a heck of a rollercoaster of up’s and down’s, of recreating myself and my purpose, of finding the good in what the Universe gives me, and saving what needs saving. In myself. In others. In whatever comes my way. You know the story of the boy on the beach? You know, the one where a man see’s a young boy throwing scores of starfish back into the ocean after they’ve all washed ashore after a storm? The man says, “Why do you bother? It doesn’t matter. You can’t save them all.” And after a moment of contemplation, the boy replies, “It matters to THIS one.” I think about this analogy often. And while I know I can’t save everyone, I know I can do my best to save THIS one. Imagine if we all did our best.
“I may be a foot short when it comes to a race for the finish, but I’ve got a leg-up on perseverance to carry me to the end .”-GoodyOneShoe Hoppinfast

Saturday, December 8, 2018


Tonight we will be on WIOX Cabaradio out of the Pine Hill Community Center!
Tune in and listen to us live (Sadly I’m too tech challenged to load link here)
Will be singing the praises and coolness of all things DONKEY!
We will also have a merchandise table and be happy to take donations live or they our Sweet Ass Farm Store link on the Full Site version (not mobile version) of our website.
We hope to talk to you soon!
(\,,,/) “For the Love of Longears”

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Olive Day 2018

Well... it’s just after midnight on the eve of Olive Day, and after being locked out of my computer... I think I’ve FINALLY educated myself just enough to use a mobile device and post on this site. Whew! Technology is certainly NOT my thing. At any rate... more to come soon, but come on out and see us at Davis Park in Watson Hollow Road in West Shokan, Saturday September 8th from 10-5. It’s also my birthday!!! What better way than to celebrate with my herd, 2 & 4 legged alike. 😉 Get caught up with friends, have some great food, check out some local craftsman, judge the car show, maybe learn
about donkeys, and listen to some live music! Donkeys love to chat and music. After all... they’re all ears. Lol! Hope to see you there! ❤️

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

 Spring is Here!                                                    Spring is Here!
Ashokan Maple Fest
Well...I am nothing if not consistent (sigh). It has been a couple months since I last updated the website, but I am truly dancing as fast as I can. Keeping up with the donkeys health and daily needs is doable with some help, but the "extras" of the website, FB page (which I'm MUCH better at than the website), tax paperwork for the 501c, donations letters being sent out, and marketing, marketing, marketing! Those are challenges in and of themselves. But...step by step, we're getting there. Since our last post we have booked several events, had a successful Palm Sunday event, entered a couple donkeys in their first ever Donkey Competition, paid off most of our debt, and managed to get a substantial hay delivery! We've also had an OUTSTANDING fundraiser (Sip & Paint) that also helped our local food pantry, managed to york rake the countless rocks that seem to grow from the earth, finished some Spring cleaning in the barn, and have our misting system up and running just in time for fly season. Whew!

Pete & Harry Palm Sunday
Ashokan Maple Fest
Hooray for Hay!!
For The Love Of Donkeys- Sip & Paint Fundraiser

Coon Jumping
Harry, always a welcome face.
My Grumpy Old Men
Harry won 2 First Place Ribbons, a Third, and GRAND CHAMPION!
Dom pulled up the rear with a Fourth Place in two events.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A mid-winter sunset on the Ashokan Reservoir.

It has been a trying season  to say the least, but the end is in sight. Back to back Nor'easters, power outages, crazy temperature swings...Spring, where are you?! The donkey barn had a remodel (convertible stall separator and new drainage grate), Lil' Louie has now turned into a bit of an obnoxious teenager, and we've been playing an exhausting game of musical stalls since January. In addition to Louie's annoying habits of biting and kicking his momma (don't worry, she gave as good as she got), he was quite smitten with his sister (ewww!) JoJo. Increasingly worried about the chance of having a promiscuous Jack, we eagerly awaited having him castrated. Donkeys were separated when JoJo was in heat, and finally with the help of Doc Angell from Bentley Veterinary, Louie was castrated. He's almost completely healed and did quite well adjusting, which is more than we could say for his Momma Ruthie. She cried and cried! We took opportunity to wean him at this time as well since he had to be separated for being rambunctious. He's now back with Ruthie and in a couple weeks will return to the whole herd. Thank goodness, because the corral panels and stall juggling is a lot of work!
Also, we've been so very lucky to have a great donkey friend (and a fine musician too I might add) helping out with our daily chores whenever he can. The amazing (and funny, just ask him ... he'll tell you) Ben Rounds, who I endearingly call "Pops" has been a huge help in these trying weeks. I'm not sure how long he'll stick around, but we're all real appreciative for him. He may even make us a song! Rumor has it, that "Picking Up Chicks & Kissing Ass" may be the next big hit of the infamous Ben Rounds Band (you can check them out on Facebook and at!
Lastly, we have our first public event of the year this Sunday, March 18th at the Ashokan Center ( for their Maple Fest. The festival is from 10-4pm, but we will be visiting from noon till 2pm. Come on out and scratch a donkey, have some pancakes, see the Sugar Shack, and enjoy the beautiful day. Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Happy New Year!

It's a new year, and we are ecstatic to announce that we are now an official 501c charitable organization! We are still getting through some of the set-up paperwork, and always looking for volunteer to not only help with donkeys. However, if you have any IT or web-design skills, we sure would appreciate it! Thanks to one of our very talented board members, we now have Square for credit card purchases and are working on an online store for donkey duds and Sweet Ass merchandise. Please stay posted!
We had a very festive first Christmas with the herd as well. Santa called on us for a few events this holiday season. Both our Local American Legion Post and Reservoir United Methodist Church had a Christmas Donkey at their events.


We've had an unseasonably cold start to winter as well. With bitter cold temps in single digits (or less!) and wind chills in the negative double digits... my ass was freezing! Now, donkeys are not horses. And their coat is not like a horse either. So water can easily permeate and soak a donkey where a horse's coat can shed water. So why not blanket a donkey, like a horse? Well, a couple reasons. They roll. A lot actually. Much more than horses. It also alters the coat of both horses and donkeys alike to blanket, so it just wasnt a really great option. So, on the bitterly, blowing, super blustery nights, we stalled our gang inside the barn. Dom was not too keen on it, but with a young foal, well...I was concerned with keeping as much heat in the barn as possible. However, given my physical limitations (with subsequent extra work) and much teasing from my other farmer friends...I did leave them out last night even though it was a bit questionable. Yes, they all did just fine.  Luckily as I settle in to feeling out what's what here with my not-so-delicate-donkeys, baby Louie is getting older so we are growing together. On a very positive note, we have 3 insulated buckets on the way thanks to some very generous donkey friends! So, no frozen buckets or fire hazards from heated buckets soon. Yay!
Lastly, the dreary doldrums of January with gray days can be downright boring for a donkey. So we try to keep the gang busy with boredom busters (yes, I hear the teasing already). They LOVE hula hoops, a treat dispensing ball, and some really durable large dog toys. Its hysterical to watch them play fetch with each other, pass the hula hoop, or treatball soccer. Thanks for checking in friends and apologies for not being more up-to-date. Computering is not my thing.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Help Cover Our Ass

Christmastime is upon us, and our herd has some upcoming financial burdens. While donations are always appreciated (I'm working on the PayPal link and our Tax number... should be here any day), we at Sweet Ass Farm don't mind an honest day's work for our dollar. We carry our own insurance and will travel a bit. From Palm Sunday Mass to a Living Nativity, we love working with our church families. We also are happy to do special events such as Birthday Parties, Weddings, and especially love Educational Programs. With hay deliveries, foal vaccinations, routine hoof care, an upcoming castration (yikes!) and ideally getting our older donkey's teeth floated, well...we have bills. So if Santa needs a Dominick The Christmas Donkey to assist him in greeting all the good boys and girls, we're your donkeys! Everyone earns their keep here at the farm, and we sure would love it if you could spread the word! Wont you help Cover Our Ass this holiday season?

Monday, November 6, 2017


Fall has arrived in full force here at Sweet Ass Farm! Ruthie appears on the mend, and we had wonderful Halloween. Our friend and farrier Rick Gray came with a guest (his very talented mentor Mr. Mike Wildenstein) to bring our herd up to snuff on hoof care. I was privileged to meet such a talented man. And Rick is great too! Haha!


Friday, October 20, 2017


I'm a little late (story of my life, really...), but I wanted to post the pics of the Harvest Fest at Reservoir United Methodist Church and say how thankful we are to have been invited. Momma Ruthie and Lil' Louie made their public debut on Saturday October 14th. Ruthie has not left our farm since the day she came back in November of last year, and Louie...well...he was just born, sooo...yeah. A day of firsts! I was worried Ruthie wouldn't load in the trailer, especially given the trauma of leaving the home of most of her life the last time she stepped foot in that trailer. But she went. The fact that Louie bounded in as if we were going to a donkey theme park (I dunno...what exactly ARE donkey kids excited to see??) may have been part of the reason, but I was grateful nonetheless. We had a great day, visited with many donkey friends who came out to see us, and made new ones. It was a blessed day...for sure.
Our Littlest Fans
Every girl loves a good hair appointment!

Janice and Sarah getting some Donkey Love!
Janice runs the show when is comes to the Harvest Festival and she aims to please! Sarah is a donkey friend that actually aided in the creative name "Sweet Ass Farm".
Isn't it funny how life gives us just what we need when we need it sometimes?

 Best Roadies ever! If it weren't for my hubby (St. Pete)
and my son, I don't know how I'd do
 these events. Long after I'm
spent from a long day on my feet, they are there to pack me up
 and go home. Pretty sure I couldn't do it without them.

There was an awesome Blacksmith Demonstration by a fellow parishioner and friend Gary. A couple kids really had a blast and my two monsters were lucky enough to make beautiful fire prod/pokers. Thanks so much Gary! We should do events together
more often! I think we make a great team. ;-)

Until next time Donkey Friends...
       Have a Sweet Ass Day!


Saturday, October 14, 2017

We had a VERY busy week so far, and we're not done yet!
Ruthie has been on stall rest and on Thursday we finally met Dr. Angell (I've heard amazing things about him) from Bentley Vet in Pine Plains, and he was AWESOME. He diagnosed Ruthie lickety split, and it didn't even require a costly xray. She is suffering from a pretty old, deep abscess that has likely been troubling her for some time. Doc cleaned out the abscess, gave me a bit of a medical lesson, and then packed and wrapped the hoof. With a little luck, Ruthie will be better in no time!

Thanks Doc!

Later today, we will be at the Reservoir United Methodist Church for their annual Harvest Fest!
This is Momma Ruthie and Lil' Louie's first Meet & Greet. Quite fitting that its at this church with my good friend Janice (who is our pastor's wife). After all, Janice went with me the day I went to just "inquire" about a baby donkey that happened to come with a whole dang family! That led to her starting a GoFund Me to get them medical attention. And here at Sweet Ass Farm. Yep...Janice went along for the ride and we are. A whole Ass Menagerie! Haha!

So come on out and see us later! I even made cupcakes... ;-)

Not for Naught

  It is with great regret that I share a desperate plea to rehome some of our donkeys. Unless someone is interested in adopting the whol...