Just Another Saturday - Home on the Range Blog at Allrecipes.com - 228081

Home on the Range

Just Another Saturday 
Mar. 19, 2011 5:40 pm 
Updated: Mar. 23, 2011 9:48 am

It’s official. I am grounded and afoot, not going to Cow Camp. I woke up for the 8th day in a row with a throat that’s on fire and a head that echoes. I deferred to my better judgment and chose NOT to go gallivanting across the desert in sub freezing temperatures looking for cows for the next 10 days.

I watched sadly, as they loaded up the cook shack and the new quarters in preparation to head out. The boss offered to haul my horses out in case I feel better in a couple of days, but I declined.
Meanwhile, they will be none the worse off without me, as I sent what I had already made and a more than adequate cook showed up to happily take my place. His charming wife came to the ranch with him, to see him off. She owns a restaurant, so the crew are all in good hands, as I am certain some of that knowledge has rubbed off on her good husband.

Cletus was ‘body guarding’ me as we made our introductions, while Bruno observed from 30 yds away. One of the boys’ 6 week old pup came up and was busy pestering Cletus who was awkwardly trying not to step on the little booger, as he is such a gentle dog, at least until his charges are threatened. The lady enthusiastically commented on how well behaved both Maremmas are, mentioning her own dog would not be nearly so ‘mellow’…

 “…but then, he is only 2”.

 I told her the Maremmas’ 1st birthday was only this week and she was doubly impressed by them. I called to Bruno and he gladly came over and sat by me and allowed her to pet him. It’s so interesting to me how these dogs are neither overtly friendly, nor threatening, to strangers. They are just watchful and aloof, but in no way that makes one uncomfortable or distrustful. I am certain, however, that if someone posed a problem, they would act very differently.

I went in the house and heard a commotion. ALL the ranch dogs came down and mobbed the Maremmas. They fended them off without fighting, but by use of their superior weight and size, then resumed their spots where they continued watching all the activity, totally unruffled by the unprovoked attack on them.
It was a little like watching gnats bugging a water buffalo.

The crew has taken off for camp. The storm moved in this afternoon and I am watching the driving snow, thinking how cold its gonna be again. I could grieve missing another trip, but I think instead, I will revel in the fact that I have a flush potty and a warm bed tonight, while Randyman and I eat homemade steak fajitas and chug down a margarita. The boss said I could haul a horse to camp later in the week if I am feeling better.

Cider went out front to play, while the pups went on patrol. True to his “Sid Sawyer” personality, Cider wandered too close to the barn, where ‘Ike the cow dog’, who loves to bully him, hangs out. One warning bark from Cider and  two white streaks passed the house, heading in Ike’s direction. Cider trotted home, while the 100+ lb pups stood to either side of Ike until he submissively slunk back into the barn. 

This must be what it’s like to have the Secret Service watching your back. Awesome.
Mar. 19, 2011 6:29 pm
There's a lot to be said about being cozy and having a flushing potty. Stek fajitas would have brought me running to your house- had I known.(AHEM!!)
Mar. 19, 2011 6:42 pm
oops sorry Mike, did you not get my invitation??
Mar. 19, 2011 7:56 pm
Whew! - I'm just glad to see a blog and know that you're alive! But watch that illness of yours - sick for 8 days - - that sounds like more than just your average cold - are you on antibiotics? I just love your pictures - they are amazing - so beautiful - have you ever thought about submitting them to a magazine publication or an art gallery for a showing? Give it some thought, I think you have real talent. I'm sorry you didn't get to go to cow camp this time - but there will be more cow camps ahead and they got the best from you anyway with all the food you prepared. And God sent a cook. I love your Maremmas - but I think with their mass and hair - they wouldn't love Florida (where I live) - so I'm sure they're happier where they are. Keep warm - keep taking your meds - keep bloggin - and definitely keep posting your pictures!
Mar. 19, 2011 7:57 pm
Just curious - what kind of camera do you use?
Mar. 19, 2011 8:02 pm
luv2cook, I have a little point and shoot Canon Powershot. Thanks, you are so sweet! I am on sulpha drugs right now, but I have an auto immune disorder and the meds from that wipe out my immune system so its really hard to get over stuff. I am thinking the cure is worse than the disease!
Mar. 19, 2011 8:08 pm
haha...course, its not a cure...its just management. I am thinking the coats act as insulation. These dogs are all over the place, mine grew extra heavy coats for our winters, but I am guessing they are gonna shed. They need a job though, they are pretty intense LOL
Mar. 20, 2011 5:45 am
I love, love, love those dogs! Though I must say that right now with my "new" living room I wouldn't want them coming in from outside and messing it up! LOL Take care of yourself, Petey!
Mar. 20, 2011 6:58 am
Darn, I was looking forward to your stories from cow camp but I do hope you are feeling better. That's along time to be sick! Did you have a chance see the puppy I got? He was in my "new kid" blog. He won't be as big as those Maremmas but he sure does have a coat. I was always a confirmed cat lover but have since fallen in love with my puppy. He just turned 3 months and we've been working on manners. He certainly has made me feel safer when here by myself. Take care of yourself.
Mar. 20, 2011 2:06 pm
Awwww....Petey, it just sucks that you aren't able to go this year, but I really think what you need is a cup of something hot, that warm bed and maybe a hot bath. At least we aren't getting any snow, but our rain is what's headed your way. Take care of yourself and if you ever need a dog sitter, I will volunteer. Love them.
Mar. 20, 2011 3:14 pm
Thanks guys. I can sure tell I wouldn't have been much use out there!Been asleep most of the day LOL! Hot sounds good, I think I will go do that. God bless you guys
Mar. 20, 2011 4:27 pm
I hope you haven't caught the strep throat that has attacked so viciously around here. Enjoy indoor plumbing and let Cider cozy up and help you stay warm. There will be other cow camps.
Mar. 21, 2011 12:55 pm
Awesome blog petey! and what muddy dogs you have! :D take care of yourself, don't worry, the cowboys will still be getting the meals prepared by you, just stay warm and cozy and get better quick!
Mar. 21, 2011 8:39 pm
Wonderful blog, as usual, petey! I always marvel at the resilience of ranch folk. Take care of yourself!
Mar. 22, 2011 5:54 am
stay warm and get well. The wind is howling here today and it snowed again over night, just when I thought spring had sprung, I realize I was wrong. I am never wrong, what's up with that? I will share some warm apple cider with a splash of rye, sip or guzzle-your choice.
Mar. 22, 2011 7:38 pm
Good blog... happy you are able to be home to get healthy. I STILL think my idea of Cow Camp as a Reality show should be taken up by some network. So much better than some of the drivel that is on...... hope you are feeling better every day! LOVE the dogs. We have 2 retired Greyhounds. They do keep us busy!
Mar. 23, 2011 9:48 am
Feeling better, thanks guys!Haha, maybe we can get the Dirty Jobs guy to go next year!
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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. forpeteysake.blogspot.com http://throughthedarkestvalleys.blogspot.com/
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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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