Thursday, January 2, 2014

What's Cookin' At The Ranch in 2014??

It got pretty cold in early December. Thankfully, we had already gotten the hay in and stacked before the storms hit. It’s always great to wake up to a white, pristine wonderland, at least until it’s time to suit up and go feed!

One morning I went out and found Cowboy the rooster, apparently stuck on the top rail of the pipe fence. Emma was licking him and so I figured his feet must have gotten frozen to the pipe and he was stuck. I went for a closer look to try and figure out how I could save him, only to find that he just didn't want to stand in the snow. He jumped down then scampered back up on to one of the sheep. I had no idea sheep made good snow boots but they make him a darn nice wooly slipper as he sat and got kisses from one of the lambs.

Things eventually warmed up however and the snow has all but disappeared for now which has made the experience a lot more comfortable. Emma and Sushi are out back with a few other cows, enjoying the company, and so far I have not noticed Sushi in heat. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she is bred.

Christmas was, as usual, a fairly quiet ordeal. We invited our ‘neighbor’, a Japanese exchange student from Okinawa over and our roomie was here as well, before moving back down closer to family. I made Eggs Benedict for breakfast. I told our friend, Aki, we were having Prime Rib for dinner and his response was...


His response made me giggle.

We enjoyed the Prime Rib, Twice Baked Potatoes and Arkansas Green Beans with Pumpkin Layer Cheesecake for dessert. I always think of my youngest son when I make any kind of pumpkin pie...but that is another story, for another day. I raked tumbleweeds for TheMan to burn, cleaned corrals and after I finished the dishes, we opened gifts and watched a movie and it was a nice, relaxing Christmas.

The best Christmas gift to me, this year was finding that the State Trapper had taken his traps and left the ranch. That meant the Maremmas could go back out on patrol. They have been pretty exhausted in the mornings, as they have had to start all over, re-establishing their boundaries and pushing back the predators that, once realizing the Maremmas were confined, had the audacity to start prowling the yard and corrals at night. I’m not too worried about the cougar showing up here anymore, although I can’t vouch for the boss’ house, as my dogs don’t really patrol up there and their dogs have proved futile against the darn thing, as he impudently entered their shed and ate the dog and catfood at will.

The first couple of mornings after backing up Bruno on patrol, Potamus would race over to check on Patch and then his sheeple. Now that things are more under control, he is not as anxious. The twin bummer lambs are living with Patch now so he is no longer lonesome.

My friend moved back to California and we had Aki over again, for New Year's Eve. 
We pigged out on homemade pizzas, baked wings and fudgey chocolate brownies...the brownies were a must, as you shall soon see.

Meanwhile, these guys must have partied like animals!!!

Over the past couple of months, I have been working on some new products and I am pretty excited to start offering them online. I am currently accepting orders and things will become more available as I am able to produce and increase my inventory.

One of those is candles and wax tarts. Wax tarts are especially nice as there is no flame involved. I have electric tart warmers and have made good use of them! Two are plug ins that double for night lights and one is a punched tin warmer with a long cord that works well in my living room. I hope to be able to provide these to you in the future.

I’ve enjoyed this thoroughly and have found a few exceptional fragrances that I think you will all like. Simply Vanilla, Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate Brownie have been my personal favorites, and the latter has forced me to keep real brownies in the jar because the fragrance is so true to its calling. I am thinking I need a brussels sprout or spinach fragrance to keep me from wanting to eat!

The other product I am very excited about is Whipped Tallow Body Butter. This is made from grassfed tallow I have rendered myself and it is simply amazing. Tallow is a time honored skincare ingredient. Being so similar to our own skin cell structure with the same 50%-55% saturated fat,  it also resembles the protective sebum coating naturally produced by our own skin. It also contains vitamins A, D, K and E which are found only in animal fats, as well as CLA and palmitoleic acid which has anti inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-carcinogenic properties.  Vegetable based lotions and butters can’t possibly compare to this. I have added calendula oil, jojoba and fragrance oils to increase the luxuriousness of this body butter as well. My ‘crash testors’ LOVED it!

I also still have quite a few soaps available and will be replenishing those which sold out over the following month.

Stop by the Ranch Rustics website and or contact me with your questions or orders!

May your New Year be a blessed one!


  1. I so enjoyed getting to know you in 2013 and will stay in touch in 2014. I am amazed at all you do. Not only do you have smart dogs, I think the Rooster was wise to find himself some wooly slippers. :) Mmmm brownies. Yep those food/sweet smelling candles always make me hungry. Not sure I would like one of Brussels or spinach although I do like to eat those. (Who am I kidding, I just like to eat!) I was surprised to hear that your roomie has returned to CA, I thought she was there to stay... Aki has it right. Any meal at your home would get my psyched *drooling face* *giggle* I am so glad the trapper is gone. I bet the LGD's are giddy! Big hugs and wishes for a Perfectly Wonderful 2014 to you and Randy :)

    1. I don't care for either brussels sprouts or spinach (unless its raw) so I figured those would be a safe bet not to make me hungry, unlike the chocolate and vanilla! LOL
      Best to you and Bob!

  2. Petey, you are certainly one busy lady these days! So glad you seem to be feeling like being up and out and doing what you love. I had to laugh about the Rooster not wanting to step in the snow. He was so smart to figure out how to keep his feet warm and dry ! I have trouble keeping my feet warm, guess I need a pet in the house to lay on my feet! So happy to hear the trapper is gone with his traps. Doesn't sound like the danger from the cougar has been eliminated though. Your wonderful big dogs will take care of your property and animals though. I was really surprised that your friend left. I thought that arrangement was permanent and it was so good that you would have some help when your health caused you to have those bad days. Sorry that did not seem to work out. The idea of prime rib for dinner would cause me to be TOTALLY PSYCHED also!! LOL........As always I love your updates and look forward to the next one!
    Ginny in Texas

    1. This life doesn't suit everybody and with her family and grandkids so far away, it seemed to be in her best interest to go back. God has his ways of helping me through, day by day, so I will just keep hammering away! Good to hear from you, thanks for taking the time to say hello!

  3. You are the most industrious woman I know Petey! Your new products sound like a fantastic addition to your soap line.It's fascinating that tallow contains all of those beneficial properties. Having had a melanoma removed it interests me that is also anti carcinogenic.I'll be looking at those items for sure. Glad to hear the dogs can now patrol again, and I hope somebody is able to get a bead on that cougar before it causes grief.

    I'll remember you all to the Lord and ask His blessings and benefits to rain down on you and your family this new year.

    1. I'm very excited about the new stuff. It is FLYING off the shelves, so I am working on getting an actual web store up so I can spend my time producing and not just trying to email info of what i have back and forth to people. I got pay pal set to figure out the rest! LOL
      The cougar is scarce now that the big boys are out on patrol again. I don't expect to see him again.
      Thank you for your prayers, I will be thinking of you too!!

  4. Hey, Dexter here checking in on our favorite lady friend. Alex says only lady friend for me...very funny. Happy New Year although it's past. Dev will go home soon after Daniel's big, big, super big show. Home to him away for us. I have amazing brothers. It's funny how life can be so rough and we can still say life is good, but we know why, huh. I also want to let you know that the other room lets me in now. Everyone says hello and I say hello twice. Your candles and stuff look really cool or as I say coo. See you later...x-boy

    1. It is good to hear from you. I miss you guys a lot! What other room is there? You will have to send me a link so I can chat with you guys. Thanks, I am having fun with the store.

      Take care!