Monday, December 21, 2015

Better late than never!!

Heath entertains himself watching tv

A rare and vicious saber toothed sheppie

A computer failure put me into forced silence for awhile. Add to that the fact that the dogs busted the antennae that allowed us somewhat of a phone service and it’s been pretty quiet here lately!

After months and months of unsuccessful breeding, the rabbits have finally kindled, so, after starting with the original 4, we now have 40. Funny how that works! I have learned quite a lot since having them.


First of all, there is no foundation to the saying: “breeding like rabbits” because they are not that easy to breed after all. It did take 5 months, and the purchase of 3 more rabbits and one of the original does still has not gotten pregnant.
#2 It is a good idea to buy and wear kevlar sleeves as handling rabbits will slice you up and leaving you looking like you’d wrestled with Edward Scissorhands.
#3 Boy rabbits can spray urine quite a long way in any direction they desire.
#4 You have to clip their toenails and sometimes even their teeth.
#5 They poop. A LOT!  3 oz of rabbit feed turns into about 4 pounds of poop and a half gallon or so of pee.
#6 Rabbit poop is AWESOME for the garden. Really, really awesome.
#7 Newborn rabbits look like used chewing gum.
#8 Two week old rabbits are really, really cute
#9 At 3 days of age, baby rabbits do a great imitation of popping corn.

It is going to be a fun journey, albeit an expensive one. TheMan encouraged me to purchase good quality triple stack cages, as I cannot make or repair homemade ones and he hasn’t the time. I don’t regret it, as they will last forever, fit nicely in the milk barn in the winter and can be rolled outside in the summertime. But it was a pretty big expense. I hope we don’t need anymore than we have already.

Mister, my geriatric Paint Horse, somehow managed to get his legs caught in a fence or gate. Swollen, sore and infected, I had to dig through stuff I haven’t  used in over a decade since I quit my training business due to illness. On with the standing bandages, and putting him on antibiotics. Good to know I still got it.

Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is only days away. We didn’t get to see our family, but that is normal since we moved here to Oregon. It’s just too much distance for any of us to manage more than one trip a year.

I have been remiss in making soaps and lotions due to my declining health. I am hoping to have a good spurt in the future so I can get everything made and my inventory filled up again. Meanwhile, I have spent most of my time in the house, alone. Well…not alone. Heath has kept me company every waking minute of my day and even at night. He has managed to surprise me often and makes me laugh daily with his antics. I’ve never known such a high energy puppy to be so easy to live with. If I am feeling poorly, he is content to play “click” and he is a very fast learner. He already knows more than any dog I have ever owned and he’s extremely eager to learn more. He is sort of my “recreation director”. He lets me know when he wants outside, back inside, when it is time to play click, or time to play with toys. A couple of times a day he jumps up on my lap for hugs and kisses and unlike any dog I have ever known, loves to roll over on his back against my chest and just be held, like a child. I cannot begin to tell you how much positive impact that has on my outlook. He is incredibly bright and a ton of fun.

The radio fence has broken somewhere and the Maremmas finally realized they were no longer being contained as there is no beep, vibration or shock when they approach the fence, so rather than allow them free access to the ranch again, they have spent more time with me, while the sheep hang out in the small corral with Mister. These two big polar bears are just as affectionate as ever, happy to just lay on the couch next to one of us, where we can rest a hand on them. It is almost hard to believe such sweet and laid back dogs could so quickly become lethal in the face of a threat. I can’t imagine ever living without them, though they are very different than Heath and our relationship is different as well. Everyone is satisfied…well that is, to a point. There was only room for Heath and one big Maremma on the couch, so TheMan bought us a beautiful leather sectional and behold! We all fit! I am now on the hunt for a good throw on cover in black to keep on it, so they don’t damage it and also, so all I have to do is lift it off in order to offer a clean place for company to sit. All in all, it was a great investment. I have been totally enjoying it.

With my back and hands affected so badly these days, housekeeping is a challenge. We already live in a house with large gaps in the doorways and windows and overtime the wind blows, it brings in dust and leaves. Add to that 4 dogs, a husband who works on greasy tractors and trucks most of the time and having a plethora of critters, it just gets plumb out of control. Well, the boss’ family and a couple of the ‘neighbors’ took that into account. Mind you, I no longer work and am no longer able to help out or do anything nice for anyone on the ranch. We came home from a 2 day trip to Boise and as soon as I stepped through the front door, after our late night arrival, I knew something was up. The house smelled different, (it actually smelled good!!) and I noticed there were new door mats both inside and outside. In our absence, they’d had the floors scrubbed and waxed and the carpets cleaned. I was speechless. The next day, one of the neighbors showed up and told me she was instructed to clean the whole house and that I was not to argue, or help out. It has been overwhelming to be the recipient of so much love and consideration, but the ranch family is amazing. This weekend, TheMan went to California without me, because it is his Mom’s birthday. I would have gone, but my pain levels have been pretty bad lately and I didn’t think a 13 hr trip in the pickup both ways was going to be a good idea, so I opted to stay home. I heard a banging outside in the early evening, and assumed the kids were doing something at the cabin across the way. I mean, who and why would anyone be pounding on our house? Then I heard giggling and more pounding. I finally stepped outside to see that the boss’ wife and daughter had hung real pine and cedar garland and strung lights across the entire front of our house, along with a fabulous smelling wreath on the door. This evening, one of the girls drove down and took me up to the house for coffee. It was nice having a different view than the one from my living room and the stormy sky outside contrasting with the pristine white snow on the ground and blanketing the trees and equipment was breathtaking. We spent a couple of hours drinking coffee and sharing good company and they drove me back home. I walked into the house to find…a fully decorated Christmas tree!!

I had stopped decorating a couple of years ago because it is just the two of us and it is too difficult and painful to my back,  hands and shoulders.  But this year we have a beautifully decorated house and yard, thanks to the ranch family. They have done so many things for so many people throughout the years to SHOW the love of Christ in action.

I have no idea how to show my appreciation for all they have done for us, but am basking in the results of our beautiful clean house and Christmas spirit.

May you all have a similar experience and feel loved throughout the coming year.



  1. KIM, I am so happy to see a post from you. I have missed them very much. WOW 40 rabbits! We had rabbits once (Angoras for fur and something other for meat.) So I know all the items on your list! LOL How wonderful to live where you do with such a fabulous ranch family to share the spirit of the season at it's finest. They sound like truly amazing people. Such a blessing. I am positive this was their way of showing you and the Man how much you mean to them and expect nothing in return. God is Good.
    Merry Christmas and may 2016 be a year of improving health.
    Sending Big Gentle hugs CAROL DEE
    p.s. give Heath and the big boys some extra lovin' from me. ;)

    1. We really are blessed to work for such wonderful folks! Hope your Christmas is a fab one!

  2. It takes a loving person to attract such love - no surprise! I'm glad you have such good, furry company and such wonderful neighbors and family. Wishing you and yours a very wonderful holiday season and a new year with just as much joy (and less pain). xoxo

    1. Merry Christmas to your and yours, as well!

  3. Kim, I certainly hope the year ahead brings more physical comfort. Glad to hear you're surrounded by a good support network!

    1. Thank you! I don't know what I would do without them all. Hope your Christmas and New Year is sweet!

  4. I'm so glad to hear what a blessing Heath is turning out to be and how wonderfully the Ranch Family blessed you! I wish you didn't have to live with the pain, but I'm glad to hear of blessings in the midst of it.

    Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

    1. He is indeed. I could not have even dreamed of a dog this wonderful. I keep hoping they will get my condition under control and I will improve instead of continue declining. They just haven't found the right med combination that works on me yet...but God has been so good to me and I have had experiences I would not have had and learned things I would never have dreamed of because of the disease, so I will continue to trust Him, as He has given me so very much to be grateful for! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  5. Kim, So good to hear from you. I was beginning to wonder. Love the stories of Heath. I'm glad you went with an English Shepherd. Heath looks very much like my Chet...but I think Heath is much smarter. Mine is a bit of a doofus. Sweet. But a doofus. Bless your ranch family for giving you Christmas. Wishing you a happy and healthier New Year. I hope the medical world finds that perfect combination of meds that works for you. Merry Christmas. Chris in Colorado

    1. Merry Christmas Chris! I love Heath, he has been wonderful. The family had one more surprise for us yet. They stopped in yesterday morning bearing gifts...which made no sense to me whatsoever, until I looked up and saw standing in the doorway, my youngest son and his family! Best surprise and best Christmas gift EVER!!

    2. Doesn't get any better than that! Merry Christmas.

  6. Merry Christmas -sounds like you have some amazing people around you.

  7. Kim, I'm just one of your anonymous fans, but I've been reading your blogs since you were just on allrecipes. I have always enjoyed your blogs and your amazing life out there on the ranch. I was beginning to worry about you since you didnt post for so long. I'm glad you're doing ok and you've got that sweet pup to keep you company during the day.

    Best Wishes,

  8. Bit late for christmas wishes, but I can send good wishes for the new year ! Hope that it turns out to be the year that things turn around for your health and you can get out and about in that wonderful landscape around you :-)