Time Out - Home on the Range Blog at Allrecipes.com - 247750

Home on the Range

Time Out 
Aug. 21, 2011 4:48 pm 
Updated: Aug. 28, 2011 9:04 am

I stepped outside today for a break. I have been furiously keeping myself busy, trying to avoid the grief that threatens to intrude on my days and overcomes me in my sleep. I need respite. I need sanctuary.

The chicks are industriously pecking around, treating themselves to bugs and green grass. A hummingbird hovers near the bee balm as dragonflies float lazily through the air, doing whatever it is that dragonflies do. A small white Captains butterfly flits over the rock wall out of sight. I wait to see if the Monarchs that were visiting yesterday will show up again, or maybe one of the many Tiger Swallowtails that frequent the garden, such as it is. It is a work in progress. The Maremmas sleep heavily while Cider rests nearby, his head pillowed on his newest toy, a large fuzzy stuffed bone. Cider loves stuffed animals in fact he collects them. Every time we go shopping he noses through all the bags, checking to see if he got anything. On Christmas he knows exactly which gift is his, under the tree. I think he sneaks in and peeks under the bed before I wrap them. What kid taught him that?

He has a toy basket full of toys and he obediently picks them up whenever I tell him to…of course he expects cheese for doing his chores, or at the very least, to play catch. He used to help me load laundry, but one particular time I had nothing to 'pay' him with. He disappeared for a few minutes and came back with a dog biscuit he had managed to locate and pilfer from the pantry. He handed it to me, picked up the laundry, then sat expectantly, waiting for me to pay him. As he has grown older, I have lived in fear he might go union on me.

A grasshopper flutters and lands over by a pink spirea. He is living on the edge, as the chickens will make short work of him. Mr T, the enormous and beautiful black rooster, struts by and blasts out a bellicose crow. His plumage is deep, shiny black with highlights of green and darkest purple. His comb and wattles are dark, deep, saturated red, like Marilyn Monroe’s lips. He really is a magnificent bird of impressive size. I find him intimidating and hope he never turns on me, though I bet he would make a fine meal.

The buzzing and chirping increase as several hummingbirds bicker and vie for a place at the feeder.

I laugh at the little chicks running like S.W.A.T. team members across the lawn and then scurry around under the cover of leaves from the plants against the wall. Like kids with a clubhouse, they spend most of their time there eating and chatting and entertaining themselves and me, in the process.

I hear birds ‘chit chit’ in the background. Wimpy, my horse, snorts on the far side of the wall. There is more rustling of dried leaves as the chicks scratch for worms and insects. Cows are lowing in the distance.

Suddenly a jet rips the sky, racing before the speed of sound, shattering the serenity. I say a silent prayer for its pilot, knowing that in this world, he or she may soon be called to put their life on the line in defense of our country. I marvel at the fact that we have a voluntary military. Those who stand in the gap do so by their own volition. They are my heroes.

I am not courageous or heroic. I settle back down on the cushion of the wicker chair and ponder how far we have gone astray as a nation, but grateful that I am here, in this place.

I thank He who is faithful in both pain and pleasure, ready to pick me up when I stumble or when life slaps me down.The One who is beside me when I ride the crests of joy that swell out of the tides of my life.

In the rising and setting of my fickle circumstances and intense emotions, He is always constant. My Rock, ever solid, ever present in the quagmires I sometimes find myself sucked into, consoles and comforts me. I lean back, secure in His watchful gaze, knowing He will never let go. I am content.

Sanctuary has been found.
Aug. 21, 2011 5:00 pm
I am so sorry you have to go through this mournful period. You lost a lot in a very short time, but as long as you are able to take solace in the beauty around you and marvel at the small things, you are on the path to healing. Your strong simple faith supports you well. And your ability to put your feelings on paper helps give you clarity. We ARE all where we are meant to be in this life. Take care, my friend.
Aug. 21, 2011 6:28 pm
I echo your words, Amen, amen.
Aug. 21, 2011 7:08 pm
I was thinking of you today. I never had a Dolly but when I took care of my dad's herd I had Lumpy, the 2nd in the herd and the nicest cow. Dad kept his dad's herd on the farm and it gave him something to do when he retired. You know, I learned quite a bit about things from those cows.
Aug. 21, 2011 8:38 pm
I am praising our Lord that you have found His peace and solace again. You have accomplished the same as the Apostle Paul "I have learned whatever state I am in, to therewith be content" - it is an amazing place only found by learning to "be still and know that I am God" - - thank you Jesus for leading Petey to this place and giving her rest.
Aug. 21, 2011 8:58 pm
Petey - you are a glass half full person. To be able to look around yourself and absorb the beauty is a gift from God. Keep sharing your life and your gift. Blessings to you.
Aug. 21, 2011 9:56 pm
Funny you pray for planes over head, I live near an airport and when I see them, I pray for them as well and wonder where they are going. I feel terrible about your Trying road. I am glad you have a strong belief and support system.
Aug. 22, 2011 6:34 am
Oh BTW Petey - I googled Akaushi beef. I am so envious! Can I come to dinner?
Aug. 22, 2011 6:34 am
Dear Petey... thank you for reminding me that we DO NOT walk alone as we sojourn this world. I love how you find beauty and then share that beauty so well with us. I'm touched and inspired! Thank you! And, God Bless you!
Aug. 22, 2011 6:59 am
I am really excited to try akaushi beef, B'nana! If we breed Emma to one of the boss' bulls this year...then next year she'll calve...then a year and a half after that..til then we'll be eating lots of chicken!
Aug. 22, 2011 7:02 am
Oh Candice, if I had to walk this life alone, I couldn't get up and walk at all. Been there, done that, could never do it again!
Aug. 22, 2011 4:50 pm
Petey, aren't we so blessed to have a Heavenly Father who loves us no matter what?! He has been with me always in happy days and incredibly hard days. I always feel sad for those who do not have that source of peace. You have been on my mind so much these past days and this blog is beautiful. Thank you!
Aug. 22, 2011 9:09 pm
Petey, your words were exactly what I needed. Sunday I saw my husband off to the first of many stepos leading to Afganistan and today during a routine proceedure my beautiful dog we have had since she was 9 weeks only died of heart failure. She was 10 and I know she lived a long, full, happy life. Se
Aug. 23, 2011 7:12 am
RLOGAN01, I am so sorry about your dog and I thank you and your husband for his service and pray that he will feel His palpable presence there. Life here can be so hard sometimes, I have to remember to hold on to the moments.
Aug. 23, 2011 8:01 am
What a beautiful blog petey. I too have been thinking about you a lot this last few days. I cried myself to sleep the night after I read about Dolly. My husband is very ill and just came home from the hospital again yesterday. If it were not for my Lord and Saviour I could not make it throughs most days of my life.
Aug. 23, 2011 8:22 am
Petey you fondly told of your admiration of our military and I will echo your sentiment. However, I disagree -totally- with you when you said you are not heroic. As our military defends our country, you, Randy and the tens of thousands other agricultural folks feed this nation and (certainly) it's troops. You face danger, loneliness, isolation, weather's worst and very hard work daily and think nothing of it. You are wrong, Petey. You are courageous and every bit a hero.
Aug. 23, 2011 9:53 am
You are a sweet, kind man, Mr Mike.
Aug. 23, 2011 2:11 pm
Petey, what a beautiful and inspiring blog! What a great gift you give us all with each and everyone of your blogs. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts with all of us.
Aug. 23, 2011 2:49 pm
What a beautiful blog and amazing photos, thank you for sharing.
Aug. 23, 2011 10:58 pm
Awe Petey, had to go back a read your previous blog. Hang in there girl, the beauty of all nature is the mystery. When a grey cloud sits above us, we find a flower beneath our feet.
Aug. 24, 2011 12:36 pm
Hope yo got the "meant to make you laugh" messages. Have a great day!
Aug. 24, 2011 3:12 pm
I did mamaw! And I was wondering who the heck sent them ! LOL!
Aug. 24, 2011 4:57 pm
Het, Petey! Check out Candie's blog! ... http://allrecipes.com/cook/13567696/blogentry.aspx?postid=247918
Aug. 24, 2011 7:57 pm
I found sanctuary, myself, just reading about yours. I promised I wouldn't say it----I hate to be a pain---so I won't----I won't say that you should publish. Oh, no, I did say it. Oh, but ......
Aug. 25, 2011 6:13 am
Oh Petey, After taking most of the summer off off the computer I am sitting here crying like a baby over your loss of sweet Dolly. I so enjoy to follow your amazing life with your animals and Randyman. You touch so many people in such a wonderful way. Thank you!!
Aug. 25, 2011 6:16 am
What a beautiful affirmation of faith for me to read this morning. Once again Petey, you gift us with something of worth. Your spirit. Thanks for starting my day off right. Take Care. :o)
Aug. 25, 2011 2:51 pm
Oh, and you should publish. Now, stop throwing things at me, Marianne said it first!:o) :o) :o)
Aug. 25, 2011 3:08 pm
Aug. 26, 2011 3:33 am
Can I get on the "you should publish" bandwagon? Petey, you have a magical way with words. You transport us into the corners of your life and help us imagine staying there for a while. You lift us up and inspire us. Thank you for sharing your world with us.
Aug. 26, 2011 5:09 am
Thanks for reminding me to "just be" today. There is glory in a single blade of grass, there is a Friend at my back, if I only take notice. Blessings!
Aug. 26, 2011 6:58 am
Petey, through my own tears, I must repeat the words of our "hero", Mike Harvey (who has saved us from ourselves on more than one occasion). He is right, you know. You are a very courageous gal and your words touch us in ways we can't describe. To put those words wih the softness of each photo is masterful. Thank you, Petey and don't let this be your last trip into our hearts and souls!!
Aug. 26, 2011 7:45 am
God bless you. I don't mean that as a trite "saying" like we sometimes do. I mean I truly pray God's deepest, richest blessings on your soul. This too shall pass, but isn't it a blessing to know, really know His faithfulness. With love...elt
Aug. 26, 2011 12:24 pm
So sorry about Dolly, Petey! She was a wonderful friend to you and you to her. Isn't it grand how God presents himself just when and where we need him. You are a strong and sweet and you will always find comfort in your garden and here among your friends. Great Big Monstrous (((((HUGS)))) to you!
Aug. 26, 2011 8:41 pm
I echo what so many others have said- beautiful, touching blog. I love the way your words and thoughts flow. And again, you have brought tears to my eyes. God bless you, my friend :)
Aug. 28, 2011 7:20 am
Petey - I somehow missed your last post. I am so sorry for your loss! Dolly was a beautiful animal and I know you will miss her terribly! You are fortunate to have had her, and I know your faith will help you to one day be able to look back fondly on all your memories of her. Your writings and your pictures are always so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
Aug. 28, 2011 9:04 am
Thanks Mother Ann...I'm almost past the teary stage. She was an awfully big part of my daily life.
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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. forpeteysake.blogspot.com http://throughthedarkestvalleys.blogspot.com/
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.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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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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