Too Close For Comfort - Home on the Range Blog at - 209464

Home on the Range

Too Close for Comfort 
Dec. 4, 2010 6:12 pm 
Updated: Dec. 8, 2010 5:03 am


The snow was melting off into mud yesterday, so I moved goats, orphan calves, sheep and my 3 weaned calves, which I had to locate out of a small herd of 350 other weanlings. We almost finished making a new shelter for the trio, but ran out of time, as one of the ranch hands working the backhoe broke a waterline. Randyman still had to haul a couple tons of hay to the larger group of calves about a mile further to the south and daylight was waning and it was getting cold.


I had already invited the ranch hands over for a supper of homemade soup and French bread. The debacle set me back a bit, as I had to make my own chicken stock in addition to putting everything else together. I had a LOT of dirty dishes needing washing and mud was tracked all over my floor from feeding the cows and other critters and being in too big of a hurry to untie our boots and remove them. There is no mudroom on this little house and being a ranch, things get pretty dirty. With no water, washing floors and dishes was out of the question and I also had to turn off the clothes in the washing machine next door. In addition to all this, I discovered late that the work crew from across the state was back and it doubled the amount of people I was expecting to feed. There was no way to make more soup at that point, so I hastened to make 2 more loaves of French bread.


Its cold in our house, rarely above 65 in the winter, as it is drafty, but still cozy enough, since we have to wear long johns all the time to go outside and work. It isn’t conducive to rising bread though, so I normally set the dough inside the oven with a pan of hot water. At this time, the first two loaves were baking so that was not an option. I grabbed the bowl of half risen bread and took it to the small living room to set it by the heatstove. It slipped from my hands and landed rightside up with a thud. The half risen bread now looked like a pancake. I cranked up the heat, hoping it would re-rise in time to get it shaped and in the oven. Twenty minutes before dinnertime, the water came back on and I energetically set to washing pots, pans and miscellaneous. I ran back out to feed the milk cows, the 3 calves and sheep, check the pups and feed the goats and two bottle calves in the barn.


All went well, the second batch of bread came out of the oven just as 8 hungry men and one young lady came through the front door. I grabbed some homemade butter, bowls and spoons and the feed was on.


There were 4 ounces of soup and one loaf remaining, after everyone had their fill. Randy passed out candybars from his stash, and everyone went home sated. Another small victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. Life is good.

Dec. 4, 2010 6:46 pm
Oh boy not nearly as busy as you but I know where your at as I raise almost everything also. Small farm living is really the only life for this city girl.
Dec. 4, 2010 10:10 pm
Petey, I do not know how you do it. I would be running the Other way:) LOL I am glad you got those hungry Guys/Ladies fed, you all work soo hard and it warms my heart to hear your stories about a life I can only live thro you! Thank You for sharing. Bless you!
Dec. 5, 2010 3:55 am
Glad to hear it all turned out well! You definitely have nerves of steel to be able to put a hot meal on the table with all the little "glitches" that popped up.
Dec. 5, 2010 4:46 am
Another absolutely fascinating story. I don't know how you do it either but sure enjoy following your episodes. Thanks again, petey!!
Dec. 5, 2010 7:07 am
thanks you guys! I just love it when a plan comes together!
Dec. 5, 2010 4:24 pm
I loved reading all about your day! I like to imagine myself living on the ranch, too!
Dec. 8, 2010 5:03 am
Hey, Mizzz Petey! Popped inu for a look see, and there you were snatching victories from defeat to beat the band. Super game of keeping the plates spinning in the air.
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Tehachapi, California, USA
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
My favorite things to cook
Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
My cooking triumphs
Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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