Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Round About

I woke up this morning to find the world clothed in white. What was an ugly tumbleweed last night morphed into a delicate filigree of shimmering ice.
The pups laid out in the snow, instead of on the porch like usual. They are extra vigilant today. Our friend said he heard coyotes all around last nite and he stepped out and saw the Maremma’s running from one place to another in an all fired hurry. The weather and the full moon must have brought out more predators than usual.
All the animals are kind of zoned out. EmmaLou didn’t want to come in for breakfast or milking this morning. She just stood in the middle of her big pasture and stared out at the range. She didn’t even clobber Cletus when he gave her his daily morning smooch on the nose. THAT concerned me, but I finally managed to convince her to come with me for milking. Afterwards she returned to her spot and spaced out again.

Cletus woke us up at 5 a.m. barking at something. Bruno was out on patrol. It’s amazing the way they have worked that out, that Cletus usually stays with the livestock while Bruno does perimeter checks every night. Although I have seen them out together, its not until after he’s gotten all the animals up by the house first. Since Bruno didn’t show up while Cletus was barking, I mused about what he might be saying...seeing as how he wasn’t going after anything, just moving up and down the fences, either warning off the intruder, or maybe calling Bruno for help. Randyman said he was faking something out and telling it “WE’VE GOT YOU SURROUNDED. LEAVE NOW OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.” 
He said Cletus was moving up and down the fenceline to make it sound like there was more than one of him. I told Randyman to go back to sleep.

There have been more deer around the house. The pups don’t even bother to get up when they go by. It’s just amazing. They can be sound asleep but if a strange dog or hunter go by the front of the house, they are ON it! And I can’t sneak away by myself, even on foot. Ever since our friend has come with his dogs, the pups are out front early every morning. He says they are gentle and greet his dogs, but I also know they are there to keep an eye on them. By the time I get up, my dogs have come back to the back yard again.
The sheep all seem content. Rosemary found a nice spot to sit out breakfast. She’s going to be a real heartbreaker, with that pouty lower lip.

As for me, I surprised myself today. I found a treadle sewing machine on Craigslist and I bought it. 
I have wanted one for ...well, forever, I think. I’m not sure why, its just one of those things. I don’t know when we can go pick it up, as the fuel for the trip cost as much as the machine, so either someone will have to pick it up on their trip to town, or we will have to wait 3 months  until our next shopping trip. Either way, I am excited. It has all the original parts including a box of feet. It’s in working order and it looks great. I really think I will get more sewing done as I won’t have to do it on the kitchen table in order to plug it in. I won’t have to trip over the cord anymore either and I think I will enjoy it more because more of me will be moving. I hate sitting still.

Today is Dulce de Leche day. Our friend is going to help me make some from scratch. He promises it will be worth the effort. I know he’s right, because everything he has made us is amazing. He has made eating an experience, not just something you do. For 18 years, Randyman has begged me for the perfect soft oatmeal cookie like his gradeschool cafeterialady/busdriver used to make. I have apparently never been up to the task. Our friend is going to make him some tomorrow, and I am certain he will not disappoint. In return, I am sending him back to Nebraska with a lot of homemade butter and a promise to send him some more of the Bay Rum soap that he loves, as soon as I get it cured. Only 2 more days and he’ll be gone for another year and the cycle begins again, of waiting with anticipation to see friends and family on their annual visits and I will treat them with the great stuff he taught me. Such are the things that make life sweet.


  1. Oooo I LOVE your new sewing machine. It is beautiful.
    Rosemary is getting to be a lovely lass, too.
    Fresh snow really makes things look so much nicer. We even forget how cold and miserable it is for a while!

    1. i have to admit, snow does improve the look of the garden in winter!

  2. Rosemary is beautiful. Love the Singer, too. My Gramma "made" me take sewing lessons when I was 12. I've thought of getting back into it. Wonder how my dog, Tucker, would react on a farm such as yours. I think he would go bonkers sniffing. I am starting to train him to be a Search and Rescue dog.

  3. I believe a Golden will make a great Search and Rescue dog. They are such super neat dogs, I love their dispositions! Best of luck with that!

  4. Your machine is a piece of art! And I just love little Rosemary's markings.
    Your comment about your chef friend making eating an experience reminded me of my cooking. My family thinks it's quite the experience too sometimes. I remember a particular camping trip and my husbands answer to a question I posed to him ( after a pancake breakfast where I seemed to not be able to regulate the heat under the skillet ) "....just a minute, I'm still picking the carbon outta my teeth!"
    Well, that's probably not the same sort of experience you were talking about, huh.
    Your Randyman cookies sound like my moms oatmeal cookies that I could never duplicate. Found out she used lard, rendered from our pig.

    1. haha! We could be twins. He bought me an apron that says "Dinner is done when the smoke alarm goes off"

  5. I just reread the last part of your post about the raisen oatmeal cookies that Randy's Bus Driver/cafeteria lady made! Well... I can't help with the cookies. But had to comment on the fact that I AM a Bus Driver/cafeteria lady. LOL. What a combination. :)

  6. Your sewing machine is beautiful! Good luck on your cookies. I was wondering, do you get mail on a regular basis, and how often? Every three months when you, "go to town?" Whew, what a thought! Love reading about your days!!!

  7. The mail is delivered here 3x a week. The 'mail man' drives all day just to deliver to the remote ranches out here. All the mail for the ranch is deposited in a huge leather bag (think pony express) then he picks up outgoing mail on his way back by that evening. I'm sure glad we don't have to drive to town for it!

    1. I have never seen an ice storm or the cold of a winter like you have up there. It's so beautiful. I have a passion for this kind of weather and the beauty of it. Your photos are beautiful.
      That Rosemary is a lovely little girl. Be sure the guard dogs watch her like a hawk. Those coyotes are always out there and "B" can't trap them all.
      That sewing machine was a great find. It's a work of art. Enjoy it.

  8. We used to have cougars, bobcats and coyotes right in my yard. Since I got the Maremmas, I haven't even SEEN one! They do a pretty good job keeping them out of our perimeter. Cletus usually lays where he can see everybody while Bruno naps during the day.
    "B" had set some traps near a large dead animal and Bruno went all the way over there to run the coyotes off...of course, HE got caught in the trap, but he has a great work ethic! :)