Saturday, January 18, 2014

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

After 2 months of being confined to the small pasture with the sheeple, the polarbears finally had the freedom to go back to work and patrol on Christmas. Unfortunately, a recent guest at the ranch decided to do some trapping, setting metal leg traps in one of the pastures just below our house and we knew nothing about it. Potamus was very late coming home one morning and when he finally made it, on 3 legs with one very large, swollen foot up in the air, we could see immediately it had been caught in a trap. This could have been a lot more tragic if he had been engaged with a predator, or a pack of them. Angry as I am, I didn’t feel the least bit bad when I heard he bit the trapper, who finally showed up to set him loose. I would be pleased to do a lot worse and restraining myself is taking a great deal of effort.

A few days of pampering, ice, epsom salt poultices and pain killer and he is back to light duty. They are back in the sheep pasture again, until his foot can handle the extra burden of carrying him wherever they need to go at night.

About 3:30 this morning I heard every dog on the ranch sounding an alarm, including Bruno and Potamus. Mind you, that is a lot of barking as there are 29+ cowdogs here and also our 2 Maremmas. (Cider and Scottie sleep in the house and remain clueless to whatever happens outside)
It's not unusual for all the cowdogs to be barking, but Potamus was doing his 'woo woo' bark and Bruno was barking. If Bruno barks, something serious is going on.

I stepped out back to see what was causing the fuss and made it just in time to see Bruno crash the gate and go through it. This is the same fence and gate that held them for over 2 months. Potamus was on his heels and they tore towards the draw, then veered sharply and disappeared around the corner in front of the cabins. Whatever their prey was, it then led them past the barn and out towards the ‘boneyard’. That is where the cougar was first seen and, I suspect, that is who was prowling around last night. Bruno continued the pursuit, as Potamus ran back and forth, checking on me and the sheep and then checking on Bruno, ready to back him up if need be. After a pretty wild ten or so minutes, they were quiet again and headed home, so I went back to sleep. They were on the back porch this morning, none the worse for wear. Potamus is limping again, slightly, but not like before. I was pretty happy with them.

This has been a really amazing month.
Our friend, the chef, is back for his annual month long bird hunting visit. He brings his 3 upland game dogs and he eats at our house…let me rephrase that..he COOKS at our house! He brought one of his young kitchen helpers along this year and he has been pretty awesome as well, more often than not volunteering for dish duty.
We've been enjoying amazing meals and desserts. Shrimp Scampi, Bananas Foster, Braised Chicken, Lamb kebabs with Bernaise sauce (my new favorite in the whole world). It was a long haul for them from Nebraska. They also met up with another guy who worked alongside them last year, that lives here locally…so one night I had THREE chefs in our little kitchen. I was not one of them. 

After posting these, I had to laugh…these guys remind you a little of anyone on a rather popular tv show? Well, they fit right in here.

In my defense, I fed them a couple of times too. They got some sourdough Belgian waffles for breakfast and beef dip sandwiches, taco salads and a couple of other quickie things I whipped up when they were too exhausted from hiking and hunting to fix dinner. Our friend also brought us a beautiful french chef's knife as a gift. It's awesome!

Not having to worry about cooking has freed me to get my inventory built up. My little cottage business now has its own webstore now, at It’s been wonderful because you can now browse through the products and pay right online and I can ship it out immediately. I also want to take the time to thank all of you who have already dropped by and those who have ordered. I so very much appreciate it. Your response has been VERY encouraging!

I've been working on putting a little extra into the newest soaps I am  making. Not ALL soaps are quite this fancy, but I am workin' on it.

The new Honeysuckle

The new Bay Rum

Valentines Day is around the corner and coming fast! I have a few ideas for you this year on what to give your sweetheart.

...And since I can, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell a little about my products.

I love heart shaped shortbread cookies or chocolates, but now imagine pairing them up with a beautiful tartwarmer and some wonderful smelling wax tarts in Simply Vanilla, Chocolate Brownie or Pumpkin Spice! I also currently have some Spiced Cider and MacIntoshApple tarts. I'm open to suggestions of any fragrances someone might like me to try and explore.

Pictured left to right, front to back: 3 oz clamshell tarts (spiced cider), med wax tarts (MacIntoshApple) , large wax tarts (LemongrassSage, MacIntoshApple, PumpkinSpice) , 4 oz candle tin, 8 oz mason jar candle, Almond Honeymoo soap

You could add a small tin or mason jar candle for the bath and some Artisan soap in a variety of  fragrances. Think champagne glass and bubble bath and “oooh lala!” 
I really love the tart warmers. They are electric so there is no flame to worry about and they double as nightlights. The little plug-in ones are PERFECT for the bathroom and the larger punched tin rooster ones are wonderful in a bedroom or other  large room. I actually think the warmers throw scent farther than the candles. I carry the little ones in white and black (pretty neutral colors, yeah?) and the large come in French Blue, Dk Green and Ivory. I notice that even Randyman, who usually complains about any fragrances in the house (which is hard on him as I soap and stuff a LOT) turns on the tartwarmer himself. He either likes the light pattern it makes or he is actually loving the smell. Who’d have guessed?

The tarts come in different sizes  (and fragrances) so I suggest the clamshell or medium sized tarts for the small plug in warmers and the medium or larger for the larger punched tin ones with the longer cord.
(warning- do NOT use WhiteChocolateFudgeBrownie tarts unless you actually have brownies made. It makes men very grumpy to smell and not get to eat it.)

Don't forget the Whipped tallow body butters. It only takes a tiny bit, so it lasts a long time and is much more natural for your skin with no unpronounceable, weird additives. Just the pure product with a bit of fragrance to make it more luxurious and add to the pleasure of moisturizing your hands, feet or wherever your skin is needing some nurturing. It’s really nice after being out in the cold, feeding critters or milking cows and not worrying about the effect of all the dishes I wash, drying out my hands anymore. I finally have something that works and doesn’t have to be applied every 10 minutes to soothe my once chapped skin...and that is saying a lot.

Here’s hoping you all have a great week. I’m off to do some canning, housecleaning *sigh* and then I’m making some wax tarts in a new fragrance to test. Poor, poor me. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Let me wipe the smile off of my face so you can try and feel sorry for me. Nawwho am I kidding?
Life is good.


  1. Life is indeed good :) Your post has me wishing I was there to help *sample * some of those dishes! (I think I just drooled on the keyboard.) ;) The chef/cook on the right side of the photo looks a lot like my nephew.
    I was horrified to hear that Potamus was caught in a trap, and one that was set without permission, no less. :( Good Doggy for biting him. ) I am so happy he is healing quickly and with out permanent damage.
    You would think that Mountain Lion would go where there is less commotion and stay away from the dogs, ALL of them barking at once. What a ruckus!
    I think I need to pop over and see what is available in the store. I am thinking I could really use some of the body butter.
    Hugs to all, especially Potamus.

    1. It has been interesting, to say the least :)

  2. So glad your dog wasn't permanently damaged. Why would 'that person' think it's a good idea to set traps without telling you? Are they designed just to hold the animal and not sever their leg? Was the trap-setter trying to get a specific animal? How do you do an Epsom salt poultice? Your soaps look so lovely.

    Re the chefs, what are upland game dogs? Do they freeze the birds they get if they are there for a month? How wonderful to have three chefs in your kitchen.

    1. I don't think he had permission to trap where he was trapping. The boss lets us know if there will be traps set where my dogs patrol so we can confine them to keep them safe. I think he was trying for either coyote or bobcat. It was a leg-hold trap. It holds the foot but does cut off circulation so Potamus is lucky not to have more damage. One of the people on the LGD board online told me how to do the epsom salt poultice. She said she uses it on horses, dogs, and herself. Mix 1/2-1 eggwhite with epsom salts to make a paste. Smear it on and cover with saran wrap. Do 15 min on, 15 off.
      Upland game dogs are dogs that hunt birds that are not waterfowl. In this case, they are German Shorthairs. It is wonderful to have any chef in the kitchen :)

  3. So relieved to hear that the leg damage wasn't worse than it was! Poor pup.
    Meanwhile, I am anticipating my package with great delight - can't wait to try the new salt soap and body butter :-)


    1. It should be in your PO box as we speak! It shows delivered :)

  4. there's one born every minute or so someone said about fools, but maybe this guy wasn't a fool as much as he was foolish. ah well, all's well that ends well, as some other someone said. this someone says he hopes you continue to do well and have lots of company. i can't comment about the pretty stuff except they look pretty. we rn't perfect but sometimes we smell pretty good...haha. or at least to ourselves. mom's the best chef I know and i can't imagine anyone bettr. well, maybe God as he prepares us and the feast he is gonna give us. daniel

    1. I think perhaps a minute went by and this guy got a double dose. Thanks danielsan, and take care!!

  5. I can write as long as Devon watches. (he isn't but he is and I can't tell.) How is Pot'mus now. I bet he's good with all the care. Trappers are empty headed sometimes. You seem to be really happy so your company must be nice to have. You say life is good though sometimes it can be rough. Daniel sings a song called, Boys Don't Cry but its one of those songs that says one thing and means another. I'd like to buy some soap but I don't think I have a chance a snowball would have in Hawaii. It looks so fluffy. The notes all right cept he made me change that one sentence to Hawaii. God bless you petey. Al-x

    1. haha! You make me smile! This trapper is not one of my favorite people. Our company is awesome and yeah, life can be VERY rough, but it's our response to it that counts. Snowballs probably don't do well in Hawaii…or Cancun for that matter. I'm not sure about fluffy, but its pretty darn nice soap, if I do say so myself. And I do. God bless, Al-x! :)

  6. Glad the pup is doing better Petey! I suspect the trapper is fortunate that it was a dog bite he received and not a human bite. :) Glad to see that you are expanding your store. I have always loved your soap and I suspect that everything else you make will be just as amazing! Blessings for your new business x 10! Staci, Maine

    1. Well, he's back to limping. He was hurt worse than we thought, I guess. It's going to be hard on them to confine them again, but Bru can't face down big predators without back up. Thanks for the encouragement Staci. I have been really pleased with the response to the store and its keeping me pretty busy! :)

  7. Great Pyrs are amazing dogs! I have one male Great Pyr - he's 8 years old now. He's a pampered Pyr because he's mostly inside - he's had so many health issues - luxating Patella, mast cell tumor(cancer) and then a non-cancerous tumor - he's worth every second and every penny.
    Thanks for sharing - I'm glad that Potamus is feeling better.
    PS I'm stopping by from "From the Farm" blog hop

    1. Yes indeed, Pyrs are very nice dogs! My two are Maremmas, an Italian breed of LGD, a bit lighter and not so heavy coated as the pyr. They are truly amazing, as are the entire genre of LGD's. The hard part is educating other people that LGD is indeed a group of specific breeds and not any dog that lives on a farm. Thanks so much for stopping by, it was nice to 'meet' you!