It’s been a whirlwind of a month.
I can’t remember a lot of it as we have been very busy, but it was great seeing so much family and friends. Randyman’s sister, niece and her family came up for a surprise visit to see our nephew, the cowboss, who will sadly be leaving for another job somewhere in October. (I think I was the only one surprised by the visit, the guys often forget to tell me stuff, but at least it’s always a GOOD surprise!) We also have a new guy, who is an exchange student from Okinawa and speaks english very well...probably better than I do, but with an accent. He’s fun and laughs a lot. The boss was gone so we had him for meals the first few days to welcome him to the ranch. That put 8 at our little 6 person table for a few days.
It was great to see everyone and I hope the kids all come back to visit again, even though their uncle will no longer be here.
They are putting in several large ‘pivots’ here at the ranch. These are 1/2 mile long irrigation systems that will pivot around the center, watering a square (actually a round) mile. Lots of fence needs to be removed and ditches filled. It will change a lot about the landscape of the ranch and will be a big improvement for feeding and irrigating, I think. Randyman put out a distress call, and we have some great friends who we also consider family, that answered. They all arrived the day after his sister left. They stayed for 2 weeks helping us all out and the second week a friend of mine arrived for her scheduled visit. That kept 8 at the dinner table.
Of the 8, three were my little people. The little people had a great time. They played at the pond, hugged on the polar bears, played with Thomas, who allowed them to pet his little bumply head. One of them made the observation "It looks kinda like his brain is on the OUTSIDE of his head..."
they helped process the last 7 meatie chickens, which became a source of great hilarity as well as a biology lesson. The oldest little people person can now identify a chicken's heart, gizzard, lungs, liver, intestines and crop.
Grabbing the tendon to do the 'chicken wave"
They climbed with Annie in the Octopus tree where they also found 'sheep hair', a dead hawk (most likely caught by the Maremmas who take offense at predatory raptors attacking their flock) and underwent construction of what we were told but were afraid to investigate, was an outdoor potty.
They rode Wimpy and Mister, pushed the leppies, Sushi and EmmaLouMoo to the top of my pasture for a little experience in moving cows...
...helped move portable fencing, made fettucini noodles...
... we also made homemade ice cream, flaming banana crepes with dark rum, leg of lamb and lots of other good stuff. Oldest little people person learned to sew a little and made a skirt for school, collected eggs and cleaned out the lambing shed, while their Daddy worked like a machine taking out over a mile of barbed wire and hog wire fencing, etc. A combat experienced US Marine, he also shared his warrior's perspective on Bible passages that was really awesome to hear and gave us a greater understanding of some OT passages that described the massive armies of their time in the mornings while evenings we all spent watching Duck Dynasty reruns, laughing and being grateful that finally there is a show the whole family can enjoy together.
Their Mom worked on my house, organizing things I didn’t even think could be organized and helping out with every possible thing. They were all like little ants, each day carrying out their missions. It was great to see them and I hope next visit they can just rest and enjoy the ranch, although a little of that was done too.
They brought a new family member with them, a little Rottweiler puppy named Achilles. Cute as a bug, he’d play out front with the kittens and dogs then flop down on the ugly, old, turquoise linoleum floor that graces this house, seeking to cool off. He’d flatten out like a rug. One day the guinea fowl ventured into the front yard. That was their BIG mistake. Achillies took out after them, anxious to play with a living squeaky toy, but the Maremmas saw him through the fence. That was HIS big mistake. My big white polar bear-looking dogs are pretty flexible, but they do hold a grudge. From that point on, Achilles was on their hit list. It made for some interesting times, as the polar bears are used to coming inside if its very hot, but so was Achilles. There was a lot of dancing around going on, pushing dogs in and out in a hurry every time they nearly crossed paths. I’m not sure how future visits are going to turn out, I guess I hope it’s when the Polar Bears are content to just stay outside.
Meantime, a friend from long ago, that I haven’t seen for many years, came by bus to visit. It began as a visit for her to just get away from the heat and bustle of the city she lives in. We went horseback riding, took the 4 wheelers up to the weir...
...fed leppies and handled the sheep, calves etc. She enjoyed the little people and their family as much as we did, in fact they were giving her very big hugs when they left. She has helped process meat birds in the past (well...actually she helped process one turkey but it counts). She likes riding, loves dogs, likes fresh fruits and veggies so the garden is a plus. All in all it seems a perfect fit, so I took her back to the bus station a week later with plans for Randyman and I to drive down with the trailer to pick up all her worldly goods as she is moving in to help us out, as it is getting more and more difficult for me to do regular things.
It's great the way things work out sometimes.