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 RanchRustics.com 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.
Life is good.