Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter or Fall??

The pups have been doing a capital job of taking care of things. The other night Bruno was out somewhere in one of the pastures barking at SOMETHING that clearly didn’t belong, while Cletus ran back and forth from Bruno to the house. I was exhausted, it was cold and I didn’t really want to run outside with my flashlight to see what was going on, but I had the feeling that Cletus was wanting our attention. I just couldn’t bring myself to do my part and fell back asleep, knowing the goats, sheep and chickens were all safely locked up and easily protected.
I awoke in a great deal of discomfort, as the barometer has changed again and that always tends to throw me off. Because of that, I got up extra early. Cletus was asleep on the back porch, but I couldn’t find Bruno anywhere. I let Cletus in to visit and get some morning hugs and prayed for Bruno’s safe return. Awhile later Randy located him out front, so let him in to visit as well.
Milking went well with Miss EmmaLouMoo, but the sheep and calves bellowed in chorus wanting treats while I attended her. Afterwards, I slogged my way past greedy cow, greedier sheep and very pushy calves to give them their goodies.

Afterwards I let the sheep out to graze on the big pasture. I decided to walk all the way to the bottom and check the spring box and show them where the water was, as they don't tend to venture that far away. They followed me in a little line, with Tooney in the front. The 3 little blackheaded Dorper X ewes would straggle way behind, then run to catch up. Of course that would set every one off, and Tooney would also start to run along with the little ram and lamb who had been with her. Not knowing WHAT they were running from, they would then begin to run in circles around me, until the pups came to calm them all down. The puppies discovered bubbles under the ice and tried their very best to capture them, without success.  We finally made it to the water, they drank, then they all ran off and left me to walk back home alone.

I slogged my way up the hill, mentally making a list of the things that needed doing. It wasn't very far into the list that I found myself overwhelmed and decided to just do what was in front of me, until I found myself somewhere near the end of the list...which is quite a long way to travel.
I raked some more good, garden-enhancing poo out of the pens, wheeled it out to the garden to dump in a pile for the chicks to go through, then threw my muscle into dragging the wagon full of milk bucket to the house.
 I stopped and checked to make sure Miss Priss, the goat, didn’t come back into heat, as its anyone’s guess if this little Boer buck, Mr PeeBody, has been able to get the job done or not. So far, signs point to his success.
I let the chickens out and went in to process the milk.
I stepped out front to put some laundry in and our new friend and neighbor called out hello and brought over some peanut butter we had asked them to pick up on their trip to town. She is going to teach me to quilt and I am going to show her how to make Mozzarella and Ricotta cheese today.
We went through the initial cheesemaking steps then she showed me a few  tricks on doing an applique quilt. We headed over to her ‘house’ to look at some fabrics while we had a lull in the cheesemaking process.

 As we were walking along, I suddenly found myself looking at the tops of some very tall, old trees. I noticed a wasp hive about the same time I noticed a great deal of pain in my hip and wrist. Apparently someone very large, fast and invisible, had lifted me overhead and body slammed me to the ground with such speed that neither of us ever saw the attacker. It’s all I can figure as I really have no idea how else I could have wound up on the ground. I groaned a bit, my companion noted that there was likely a measurement on the richter scale from the impact I made and the pups decided to do their rendition of “TIMMY’S IN THE WELL!”. 

They managed to get out of our back yard, through a corral and 2 pastures, in the blink of an eye and rush to my side to check on my welfare. I am guessing they DID see the invisible hulk which had wreaked such destruction on my rapidly stiffening self. Not just one, but BOTH Maremmas came to my rescue. I am not sure what they thought they would do, as they don’t have cell phones, opposable thumbs, or the number of the Medi-vac, but they were there at my side nonetheless to make sure I was okay.
Cider, in the meanwhile, my 'service dog', who had been playing with the pups when i fell, stayed in the backyard peering through the fence with an "Is she dead?" look on his face. He never did drop the toy out of his mouth.

 There is nothing like being the biggest klutz in the county to just embarrass myself beyond belief.
I had visions of “Granny fell and broke her hip” going out over all the newswires.
I escaped from the puppies’  concerned ministrations and limped into my friend's house. Bruno was unconvinced and tried to come in with us, then reconciled himself to watching with his head in the door.  We looked at fabrics she had and I marveled over a very complex quilt she is making of canadian geese standing in the water...unbelievably beautiful, amazing talent. I am very excited about what I might be able to learn. I opted to let her choose the fabrics as my color matching ability is about as great as my love for city life.
Upon returning to my house, we finished up the Mozzarella and quickly made Ricotta with the leftover whey. I grabbed the bucket of Boule dough out of the back room, 3 pizza stones and we made 3 big pizzas for dinner.

News travels fast.

I went out to feed and milk this morning and all the animals visually examined me to make sure i was really going to make it.

Its good to be cared about.


  1. Ouch!!! I love how your animals are so concerned as to why you were in a horizontal position.

  2. There is nothing like an audience when you hit the dirt. But how nice that they are so concerned about your well-being. I hope nothing was too bruised or broken. Your quilt making / cheese making trade sounds terrific!

  3. Glad you were able to get up with no broken bones. Sounds like you have a great trade going on. Good for you! I'm so excited~I'm picking up some fresh milk this afternoon, and will be using my new Mozzarella cheese making kit I got for Christmas to make some cheese soon. Yippy skippy for me!

  4. In an "upside down world" - it's good to know you are right side up! You go girl!!

  5. Came to know of your writing through All Recipes and am just amazed with and await new posts. As a young girl, used to read and re-read the Little House series - your life, as one on the range, is a most fascinating,contemporary rendition of a life that to most of us is unfamiliar. I appreciate what is clearly a disciplined, peaceful and private existence, but wish like all get-out, you would find a way to publish. You write so well, your life is really remarkable and even if proceeds went to charity, it would be such a blessing to a cause. Nuff said - respect your endeavors and wish most of all to offer my admiration for what you do.

    1. Thank you, your kind words mean a lot!

  6. Wow! You have to watch out for those invisible hulky bigfoot monsters out there that slam dunk you when you're not looking.
    Your rendition of the fall was hysterical. Especially Cider's "Is she dead" look and his not dropping the toy.I'm glad that you didn't break anything. Did you look for any frozen bananas on the ground?
    Do you have earthquakes up there?
    Wonderful photos and a great post.
    It's a beautiful place.

  7. I just came here from Easy Garden. Oh my goodness, I love your blog, I will be back to check on You,I hope it was only your pride that was really hurt in the fall. Love the dogs concern. (They look alot like my sisters Great Pyrenesse.) Hugs...

  8. I just came here from Easy Garden. Oh my goodness, I love your blog, I will be back to check on You,I hope it was only your pride that was really hurt in the fall. Love the dogs concern. (They look alot like my sisters Great Pyrenesse.) Hugs...

  9. My pride was irrevocably shattered (again) but it looks as though everything else is still in working order! LOL