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.