Friday, September 5, 2014

Taking the Good with the Bad-Or a Spoonful of Brandy helps the Medicine Go Down...

It's been a tough year and this month was no exception.

Most of the month has been spent with my leg up as my knee has been painfully swollen from an auto-immune attack. Never the less, good things have come.

There has been some bounty from the garden. Lots of blackberries are in the freezer and corn, patty pan, yellow crookneck and zucchini squash has been a staple of my diet lately.

Sushi doesn't make much milk, but she's a good mama and I don't have to worry about putting another calf on her because she neither makes more than her calf can handle, nor does she need copious amounts of feed to sustain herself. What little milk I have gotten from her has been wonderful and much appreciated.

Due to health issues, EmmaLouMoo will be leaving the ranch. I have shed many tears over this, but there is nothing to be done for her. She has been a good friend and served us well, providing us with both diary products and beef for the freezer. I will miss her greatly.

Some sunflowers have come up. I put in a couple of different kinds this year and I like the variety. One has just a fringe of petals and the other looks like a big pom pom. Unfortunately, the wind knocked it over the same night it broke the two largest branches off of my peach tree.

I still am going to get a bumper crop of peaches, however. In spite of thinning fruit all summer, there are more peaches on the tree than I will probably know what to do with, but I plan to put up pie filling, jams, syrup and sliced peaches for the winter. I'm very happy to have them.

The ducklings have grown a LOT and are having a great time running around the back yard. They spend every evening debugging the lawn and it never ceases to amuse me the way they do everything in a little line, talking all the while. It looks as though 3 of the 4 Khaki Campbells which I got for eggs, are hens and the fourth is a drake. He is also blind, so goes by the name of "Magoo". The other four ducks I'm not sure of yet.

Standing in line for the bath tub…

 The meaties have grown enough to come out of the brooder and are also enjoying running around the backyard, playing in the tall bushes and catching bugs. They are energetic and healthy, unlike so many of the CornishX that folks raise in pens or small areas. Ours only get a bit of grow ration for breakfast and dinner and have to fend for themselves the rest of the day. We always process at 8 weeks and most of our broilers are 6 lb in the freezer.

The Breakfast Buffet

It's been great to have the Maremmas back at work. They have been busy trying to re-establish boundaries that the predators dare not cross. For now that covers about 40 acres instead of the couple of miles they used to patrol and control. After the BAD trapper (we also have a good trapper but this guy was NOT) injured Potamus by trapping where he was told absolutely  not to, I've pretty much lost faith in people, period. Between that and the wolves moving this way which put them in peril, I've decided we need to have complete control over where the dogs can go, so for now, the radio fence is allowing them to move from pasture to pasture where they need to be to protect the sheep, calves and our poultry. Once the wolves get to the ranch, greater changes will have to be made, because I won't risk their lives over  a handful of sheep when there is little chance they would survive an encounter.

And more bad news this morning….

It is with a heavy heart we regret to inform you that Sourdough Sam passed away due to neglect during my long bout with knee trouble this past month. 

He has willed his humble abode to his youngest heir, Sammy, who has come out of dry freezer storage and is currently being rehydrated. 

Small giggling bubbles from Sammy this morning, hoping for full blown belly laughs by Mon. RIP Sam. Your memory and all the joy you gave and pounds you donated to my hips via my lips, will live on.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, a purchase from Sam's favorite store, Ranch Rustics would be appreciated.

Have a great weekend, keep smiling, and God bless you!



  1. Oh Kim, you never cease to amaze and entertain! I love your writing style. Even with all the things that have not been good, you still find humor and a reason to rejoice. We should all be more like you. God Bless and Great Big Hugs....
    Again, I am so sorry about Emma, I know how much she meant to you. Hopefully Sushi will continue to be a good cow.
    Mmmm sourdough bread, fresh from the oven. I am drooling thinking about that! Hope Sammy perks up and is a fabulous replacement for sourdough Sam! LOL

    1. SushiMoo (also known as TheMooch) gave me a gallon this morning. I was pretty tickled with it. Sammy is bouncing around in his container so I am hoping for great things from him.

  2. Don't feel like saying much. It's so quiet around here and everyone is keeping a straight lip. Is it upper or lower? Pastor Susan say that she is probably going to close the room so that adds to everything. Dex wrote you a long farewell that made me cry but we had power trouble that night so it was lost. Amy and Dave are coming back tomorrow, so that will be good. God bless you. Alex.

    1. Oh Alex. I miss seeing all of you. Please tell Dex I will be thinking of him and Danielsan and wishing the best for them always! I hate thinking of not being able to visit with you… You will be in my prayers

  3. So sorry to hear about little EmmaLou...I know how hard it is to part with that piece of your heart. Seems like kind of a good thing all around that Sushi isn't as heavy a producer. Meanwhile, I am totally impressed that you have radio fencing around 40 acres! I have one that I bought for the Jack Russel to keep his squirrely butt close to the house but never did install it. He's a part of pet history now... We have wolves here now. I hope they don't get the opportunity to increase their numbers in your area.
    Take care of yourself and keep looking up. Kristi

    1. Sushi gave me a gallon this morning. It is working out well, as we only need milk now and then at this time and I have joint replacement surgery coming up, so she will just hang out with her little heifer until it's time to wean her. I'm glad He is in control and makes these decisions for me...

  4. Joint replacement?? I hope you will have somebody to stay with you and help out. I know you're a toughie, but it will be so much easier to heal if you can just rest and do the rehab exercises with out hauling feed and wrestling calves, and all the other stuff that wimmin farmers do. :)

    1. LOL @wimmin farmers! TheMan has been doing most of my work for the past month because…well…I have been in pretty bad shape. He's sadly used to it, as he nursed me through a year of rehab with my broken shoulder, then another year with my broken ribs and emergency lung surgery, followed by the FIRST joint replacement. He really should have kicked the tires before he married me….

  5. You gave me quite a start about Sourdough Sam . . . until I realized it was bread starter you were talking about! You got me!