Sunday, June 24, 2012

Beauty and the Beasts

This is our little beauty. She is an absolute delight.

I am really excited to report that my son Cody came to see us and brought our 4 year old Abby. After 16 hours on the road, they pulled in at 9:30 at night and little Abby said
 “Grammy, we brung you your horse! ”

 She was very proud of herself, that she had completed this important mission. I was pretty glad too, mostly because I got to see Cody and Abby, but I am very grateful to have Mister back home also. But more than anything, I was so glad to lay eyes on them.

For 3 days, she had not a single toy to play with. For the entire 3 days, she never whined, never cried, just played with the animals and laughed and entertained herself. She is so much like her daddy at that age.

A couple of days before they got her, I was told Abby said she didn't wanna wait and had packed her bags to come visit. That made me smile. Her folks are so good about helping her remember us, as we only see them a few days each year.

The timing was excellent. Our friend and closest neighbor on the ranch had her grandkids visiting at the same time. The highlight of the week for everyone was feeding the critters.

Very early one morning (early for me, as I don't sleep much), I casually went out to the shed to let the 'meaties' out so they could start eating while I had a cup of coffee and finished waking up and Randyman got calf bottles made. I wasn’t back to the house yet, when the kids from ‘next door’ were happily skipping through the gate, ready to feed the animals. 
I was told, they had been up since 6 am, staring through the window waiting to see activity so they could come over. Pretty cute and pretty funny all at once. I did however, let the meaties go hungry a bit longer the next couple of days to make sure I got at least a cup of coffee in, before we started the day.

These were darn cute kids. They were also happy, helpful and polite. They explained to Abby how to hold a calf bottle, as they had helped to feed the night before and already had some know-how. You see, calves have a nasty little tendency to butt the bottle or, if you are unfortunate enough to be a cow, they butt the udder, very, very hard. Randy waited a little too long to explain this to the neighbor herself and the calf she was feeding rammed the bottle into her midsection and just about knocked her off her feet. She was a very good sport and laughed hard about it, but she also made sure to explain this to the kids. Never hold a calf bottle in front of you. Keep it to the side. Abby is still pretty little and hasn’t got the ballast to overcome that kind of behavior so she watched while her daddy held a bottle for her.
The goats were another story. I was SURE Abby would fall in love with little Annie. Not so. Annie is rather insistent on  attention and Abby took exception to her placing her front feet upon her little person, no matter how gently she might have done it. Abby's new friends however, got along great with Annie. Abby remembered EmmaLouMoo and would seek her out daily. She remembered helping to milk her last year.

They all went down to the Octopus tree, where the bigger kids climbed the tree with Annie, played tag, and took turns being Abby’s “horse”. I missed this particular field trip, but I understand a great time was had by all. Each morning and night, all the kids got together and helped us feed 10 bottle calves, 3 baby goats, milk goats, feed 3 different flocks of chickens and still fit in a game of tag, piggy back rides, playing on the dual purpose cattle chute/monkey bars and the older two even instructed Abby on the finer points of using a small point and shoot camera. There was a ton of laughter and giggling throughout their stay.

Cider got his share of attention too, as they accommodated him by throwing his ball, until his get up and go, did...leaving him panting helplessly in my kitchen. 

There was only one low point in Cider's experience. His lower "spa" was finally filled with water, but his ball was resting all alone in the bottom of the empty barrel next to him just out of reach. Truly it was a pity.

There were daily ‘meatie parades’ as the chickens followed the kids and the bottle wagon back and forth across the yard.
Abby had packed the dress I made her on my treadle. I was told a day or two before they were supposed to leave that she said she didn’t want to wait, she wanted to go to Grammy’s and had packed her bags already. What a perfect child she is.

One of the more interesting events, to my way of thinking, was the day the boss had about 20 new cows put into the back pasture where the sheep and goats live. EmmaLou and her two bovine friends reside there as well, and the Maremmas are in charge of security. These cows had been there all night and day and it was no problem, the dogs never objected to their presence. 
But this particular afternoon, the kids wanted to go to the Octopus tree again. Bruno observed them from up above until they got closer to the new herd than he felt was prudent and he jetted across the pasture at top Maremma speed. Next thing we knew, he had run all of those cows into the corner of the pasture and wouldn’t let them move. Now mind you, Maremmas are NOT herding dogs. He was in full protection mode and made it pretty clear to these poor clueless cows, that it would be a terrible mistake to go ANYWHERE close to where the kids were playing. In fact, if they moved out of the corner, they may have a future as handbags. Once that was settled, he slowly came back to me (I of course had been trying to get him to come back, to no avail, since he first took off. He is an LGD...not gonna happen if he thinks the cows are a hazard.)
BTW, he had no problem with EmmaLou and her 2 friends being around, as they are HIS cows and I guess not likely to cause any mischief. He does, however place himself between myself and the cows frequently. Cletus does this as well. 
It's a lot like putting yourself on the streetside of your child while walking down the sidewalk.
I was pretty impressed that Bruno would automatically protect kids he didn’t own or know. He just did it because they were little kids and needed protecting.
He placed himself where he could watch the kids without ever losing sight of the herd he had relocated. BTW, Maremmas don't play with humans. They like a good hug or petting now and then, but are content to just observe and keep vigilance. The idea of fetching a ball or stick, or playing tag with people just never occurs to them. They are hardwired to serve.

Cletus is still out on 'disability'. He doesn't feel ready to go back to work yet. Personally I think he is making more of the situation than it really merits, especially after coming around the corner of the house to find this.

Meanwhile, the boy representative of the three kids , played tag with Annie all around a wallow. He’d shake a stick at her then turn and run, she would jump up and go in pursuit. Then they would switch places. It was pretty entertaining to watch. 
I was moving too slowly to catch up with everyone a good part of the time, but I could hear and see they were having a great time.
Everyone has headed home now, after only 3 days. It is much too quiet here, but I am probably better off, moving at my own slow and steady pace again, as a lot of the work fell on Randyman this week.

Mister and I caught up on old times and he seems to remember me.
It was a great three days. I am looking forward to more of them, and two weeks from now, will bring more visitors. It’s gonna be a fabulous summer. I will have to settle for pictures and email stories of my little angel, my wonderful son and his beautiful wife and baby Kinley.


  1. It's hard to believe that that's little toe headed Cody all grown up! But little Abby is definately an image of him from the past! Sound like a wonderful time Kim! Love all the pics! Love, Jan <3

  2. Oh Petey she is BEAUTIFUL. She is just adorable twirling in her Grandma made dress and boots :)
    It does sound like a grand time was had by all.
    Big Hugs... CAROL DEE

    1. It might have been close to the best 3 days this summer. Now we are back to feeding the 'beasts' on our own and it seems like a LOT more work!! LOL

  3. I'll try to be brief. Abby is super cute. Dan-el said something about she'll be 16 in no time. It was a joke but teen girls scare me. Any teen girl gets close to Corey will get a boot to the head. (future warning) Andres's kids keep this place joyous and I'm young enough to get in the mix. The other day we came out and I looked toward where I heard laughter. Dad said, "Go on we can finish up without you." But I've had two arguments with Amy in one evening, so perhaps I'm one of the beasties. I love her but teen goblins nibble at me. Writing here helps. I'll go do something nice for her right now. This is kind of brief. x-beast

  4. Don't tell her daddy she'll be 16 in no time! His hair will go instantly grey. He's gonna be great. One of those fill out this ten page form then we'll have an oral interview to see if you can date her.

    Although, I could not think of a nicer person for her to meet once she is 16...and maybe she won't seem scary by then.
    Don't argue with Amy. You can't win. Doing something nice for her is a good choice.
    Your writing here makes me feel better too. :)

  5. Your little Abby is just adorable!! You should print out that first picture and frame it!! :)

  6. What an adorable, sweet child! I love that dress - especially with the little boots. And how she loves her Grammy! I am so glad that you get to enjoy her (and your son). She looks right at home on the ranch.

  7. Love your pics and your stories - and love seeing your horse! Must be nice to have him home. Linda at

  8. Thank you Linda! It IS nice having him home again!

  9. You're grand daughter is so beautiful. All the photos show a happy and sweet child that enjoys life.
    So good to see "D"s grandchildren. They are getting so big. I'm glad that they were all there together. The kids look like they are all having such fun. How cute that Bruno protected them from the cows. What a dog!
    Love the Cider photo. Tell Cletus he should play this foxtail incident for all it's worth, although I think he already got the message.
    Glad you had such a wonderful visit with your son and grand daughter. She looked mighty comfortable in that dress and those boots. Quite the little, adorable, diva cowgirl.
    Enjoy Mister and yes, it's the beginning of a fabulous summer. Great post!!

    1. D's grandkids were great! They were so good to Abby! They entertained her constantly, as you could see. Neat kids. Hope they come back soon

  10. So glad you had such a wonderful visit with your son and grand daughter! I just love it when our home is filled with laughter and activity. I can totally relate to the emptiness when they go back to their lives and you return to your normal activity. It makes the blessing extra special when they are there though doesn't it? So sorry to hear that Cletus was not feeling well, but glad he is on the mend. Your home continues to look more beautiful in each picture: vegetation growing, the herds and flocks growing and sunshine. Love it! Have a wonderful day, Staci, Stubborn Hill Farm

  11. I agree with Candy C. The picture of Abby in her dress and cowgirl boots would be great blown up and put in a frame. So happy you got to spend time with your son and granddaughter.

    Cletus is reminding me of my sister-in-law's dog. She had a golden retriever mix. We were camping near Bridgeport, CA several years ago and my sister-in-law and her brother (my hubby) went for a really LONG hike. When they got back her dogs feet were pretty sore, and he was limping a little. The next day he was fine, running around playing, until she told him to get in the motor home. Then he hung his head and starting limping very dramatically! I had never seen a dog put on such a show. Since Cletus is such a hard worker I would probably let him rest a little longer! :)

    1. Thanks, Frenchie. I am trying to talk Randyman into making a frame out of old barnwood.
      Dogs are so funny, aren't they? I did let Cletus sleep inside last nite. Unfortunately, Bruno has discovered if he wants in, he just has to bark up by the boss' house until he calls to complain and we will drag him home and into the house for the evening LOL

  12. petra-lady everthing is beautiful. thats all that needs to be said. My brothr was supposed to tell u that i was leaving for minnesota pretty quickly but he had other things on his mind...and its okay. later dad and i will meet devon and the rest of us in Ann Arbor for the hopefully i won't have a downer to affect that high. i won't. I'll be away for while and so will dex though he doesn't leave until monday. have a nice 4th and God bless all of u. d-man

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I won't look for you guys til you come back! I'll be praying for ya, you guys have a great time and tell Devon howdy.

  13. Hey Petey,

    I'm a KFCer, lol. I just saw a pic of your cow EmmaLouMoo. I have 2 that look a lot like her, Daisy and Novella. She is beautiful and has such a sweet face. They have similar coloring and body shape.
    I love reading your blog and all your recipe ideas.
    Thanks for sharing,

    1. It's great to meet you Sonya! Glad you came by! I love these little Jerseys!

  14. Petey macaneety. It's me your, little kick butt friend although in spite of me growing bigger. The problem with Dan-el is more troublesome then first thought and he and dad and Amy have to decide what to do. My philosophy is when in doubt punt and I don't think that will work this time. They are waiting on one of those little cuttings. He's in good spirits and says its nothing major. X-boy

  15. darn. Like you, I want him to be over this! WEll, I suppose it keeps us knocking on the door of the throneroom. I am glad his spirits are good. God bless you guys