Shleepy - Home on the Range Blog at - 252749

Home on the Range

Oct. 6, 2011 3:08 pm 
Updated: Nov. 13, 2011 7:30 am

I woke up still a little sleepy. You know how your eyes can be kind of blurry and you don’t really pay much attention to detail? It was that kind of morning.
I went out to let in EmmaLou so I could give her breakfast and noticed the hawk was still hanging around, so I needed to put more chicken feed in the coop as letting them free range didn’t seem like a good idea with him around. I remembered I had a bucket of scraps for them, so, with the ‘polar bears’ following me, I opened the back door to the house and walked around the kitchen table to get the bucket. 
Randy started pointing and stammering..I could see out of the corner of my eye he was pointing at Bruno and making wild gestures. I couldn’t understand what his problem was, then I turned around and noticed both Bruno AND Cletus were standing on the other side of me. I turned back again, to find the object of his agitation was a sheep, standing in my kitchen. 

I have NO idea where she came from, but apparently, she just fell in line and followed us right in the house. She started heading through the bedroom door, but as she was solo and I wasn't likely to fall back asleep counting to one, I saw no reason she needed to go there. She began to moving faster when Randy headed towards her, as if she was about to bolt and lead us on a merry chase through the house, so I nonchalantly said “Come on guys!” and walked out the door. Once again, she followed the dogs and we went back to her pasture. I guess she felt it was time for a field trip to someplace new.
Living way out here has a lot of perks. The boss has lots of really nice friends who often shower them with gifts and we become the beneficiaries of some of them. One guy brings lots and lots of fresh blueberries from his farm and we always get some too.  A really nice guy who owns a big nursery came bearing more long stemmed roses than I have ever seen in one place. One of the boys brought about 30 of them to me to put in a vase. I also got two nice big Chrysanthemums to plant in my garden.  There were large burlap bags of fresh corn and lugs of peaches, and onions and potatoes. We were discussing how I had to sell “Tooney” because I can’t get her sheared and boss wife’s father, who is also the farmer who brought all the food said “I brought the trailer. We’ll just haul her  back and have my neighbor do it.”
I’m excited about that, because I like Tooney and this way she can stay at least another year and we can see what kind of lamb she has with the new little DorperX ram.
Unfortunately, there will be no baby goats this year, as the nice lady who loaned us her buck and her ram lost them both to pneumonia this summer.
I was sick to hear about it, as they were both really nice animals.
Cletus went out to the pasture with the sheep and decided to spend the night there. I went ahead and let him, as it seemed like a good idea. Come morning, he was the only one there. The new sheep are little and climbed through the fence. Things aren’t working out quite like I had hoped.
I am planning a trip to see my wonderful family, whom I miss greatly. This must be why Emma keeps bloating. I went out to feed her last night, only to find her resembling something from a Shrek cartoon. All she needed was for someone to tie a string to her. I got her in the old headgate and proceeded to try and pass a stomach tube down her to let the gas out. A milking headgate gives a cow a great deal more liberty than the headgate on a squeeze chute. This enabled her to fling me around and around, in spite of my current lack of petiteness. I was 100% UNsuccessful, so I put a leadrope on her and began dragging her around the ranch hoping to deflate her that way. After awhile I ran across my  nephew who is one of the cowboys here and just a super, really nice, anyone-who-doesn’t-love-him-is-crazy, kind of guy and he came to help me hold her head while I passed the tube again. Even though he is every bit as large as Randyman, and maybe just a hair taller, she gave him a hard time. I finally managed to get the tube in and there was some foul air escaping but not enough. After doing what we could in that direction, I managed to get a little bit of bloat medicine down her throat with a dosing syringe and she began to look a wee bit better. Sadly, she got no dinner because of the situation and I had been hoping to keep or even try to put some weight on her. I separated the babies and kicked her out with the bull.

This morning she looked good, except for the fact that it had gone from too-hot-to-wear-a-sweatshirt, to cold and rainy and like her mother used to do, she was shivering madly. I tossed them both some hay and went back to the house for coffee.
Fifteen minutes later, I went out to give  Emma her grain and she was bloated again.
Realizing it had to be the new hay, which is about all we have to feed her, I began to panic. The fence is down in the milk pasture and we can’t keep the cows in it. There is no telling when anyone will be able to repair it, so hay is all we have. Problems keep compounding and I couldn’t help myself but to let the tears come as they may. Shades of Dolly again.
I got some more bloat medicine mixed up and Randyman held her while I got it down her throat. She was much better about it today than last nite, perhaps she knew she would get the tube again if she wasn’t. I also gave her a bolus of probiotics for cattle and stuffed a magnet down her throat, because she needs one. Sadly, a magnet won’t do much good for most of the things you find on the ground around here, but it won’t hurt her and might save her life if she gets hardware disease. She must have thought it was a pretty powerful one, because after I opened the headgate to let her loose, she stood there with her neck against the pipe as though stuck to it. Everyone needs a cow with a warped sense of humor.
Randyman managed to find one of the big haybales from last year and brought it over for me to feed her. As usual, he is my hero. He is all the stuff that fairytales and romance novels are made of, only he is real, and he’s all mine.
He dragged a large flake of hay out for Emma to dine on. There is a very small shelter in the corral she and the calves are in so she can get out of the rain if she feels she needs to. The pups went with me to see if she was ready to go back out with her AkaUshi boyfriend, “Harry Chin”. He doesn’t really have a hairy chin, but I liked the name anyway. I think it sounds very oriental. Now that he’s muddy, I can just call him “Dirty Harry”. 
She wasn’t ready. She and the calves had made a nice little bed in the leftover hay and were napping in the little bit of sun that broke through the clouds. Cletus, who is about as abnormal as I am about animals, must have known she wasn’t feeling good. He waltzed over and did his nose touch to her. She butted him as hard as she could, while still laying down. He came back and kissed her on the nose and she butted him again. Instead of avoiding her, he snuggled up next to her and kept her company. He reminds me of Randy. He loves her enough to overlook her bad attitude and crotchety manners, her growling and grumbling and chooses to keep her company in her misery.
She finally perked up and joined the others. I had to leave all the gates open so she could find her way back to the shelter if necessary. This means Harry is loose in there and I must deal with him when I go to feed her. So far he has been pretty much a gentleman, but I am not crazy about bulls. She seems to like them though.
Cletapotamus  came back to the house with me. He has an ear bothering him but I am not sure why. He shakes his head a little and moans when I rub it. I am hoping it feels better soon as I can’t find anything, so if its in there, its WAY in there.
He came in the house and gave me a hug too, before stepping back outside. He has the most expressive eyes I have ever seen. Bruno can beg pretty good and makes his desires known by using his feet or standing on something. Cletus just uses his eyes. They are impossible to ignore. Where Bruno stands up and puts his feet on the windows of the backdoor, Cletus is tall enough to just stand outside and look in with the most pitiful and soulful eyes imaginable. He usually gets his way too.

The lambs and goats are sticking close to the house, the chickens are locked up, so I let the ‘boys’ in for company. They don’t talk much, but they are very good listeners and it is comforting to have their big hairy selves laying around, watching me do stuff. I have plans to pack some extra weight on my nephew before winter so I am making a Shepherds Pie to have for dinner tonight. The ranch just got 3 beefs back from butchering and there are 2 huge freezers full of hamburger so I’m looking for ways to use it up, that I find palatable. Ground beef is not my favorite thing, although it has its place.
So far, Em hasn’t bloated this afternoon on the old bale of hay. I hope that is over now and I hope against hope that someone will fix that dang pasture soon so she can get back to grazing like she needs to and I can make my 13 hour drive to go see my kids, or at least the ones I will be able to see. Meantime, I am grateful for my hero who has pledged to stay home and take care of the critters in my absence.  It’s not much fun to go visiting, when your heart is squeezed by stress over what might be happening at home. I'm gonna miss him, but I know he will keep the home fires burning.

Oct. 6, 2011 3:40 pm
I flew over your area yesterday...sure is a beautiful place.
Oct. 6, 2011 3:50 pm
you shoulda stopped in!
Oct. 6, 2011 3:52 pm
I haven't sky dived in over 30 years. Afraid my old equipment wouldn't work and I would end up food for your wildlife.
Oct. 6, 2011 3:56 pm
haha! Yeah, and you probably should't count landing in the lake...since its only an inch deep...
Oct. 6, 2011 3:58 pm
Good to know! Btw, I always enjoy your blogs.
Oct. 6, 2011 5:28 pm
Beautiful, can't wait to see what your fall and winter posts bring. Living the ranch hand life vicariously...certainly with no real feel of how demanding it is. Thank you
Oct. 6, 2011 8:43 pm
Geez, I hope Em stays healthy. Your animals are so amazing! Randyman really does come to the rescue, doesn't he! Have fun visiting with the family.
Oct. 6, 2011 9:11 pm
Have I told you lately that YOU ROCK! BOOK BOOK BOOK LOL I will keep trying. :):) God bless your whole herd!
Oct. 7, 2011 7:01 am
See Petey run, see Petey write enjoyable blog despite subject being cows, sheep, chickens and dog. You ARE Rocketwoman.
Oct. 7, 2011 9:49 am
My friend who lives in Canada uses soda pop (feed/pours it down the goats when they get into the grain)then rubs the tummy to get it to burp the gas..
Oct. 7, 2011 9:51 am
I agree with you Raedwulf - she is ROCKETWOMAN!!!!! Among all your other accomplishments - are you able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?
Oct. 7, 2011 10:43 am
Absolutely LOVE your blogs!! I, too, live vicariously through them. I worked on a cattle feed lot for 4 years a long time ago, not the same as a ranch, I know, but I miss the animals, dogs, horses, and the cowboys. Keep up the great work and have a great visit with your kids!
Oct. 7, 2011 12:14 pm
Randy has called me rocket woman...but it has more to do with an embarrassing audio emission getting up from the couch than anything i have written LOL
Oct. 7, 2011 12:26 pm
Praying the "old" hay is the solution and EmmaLou is past her bloating issues! It was so sweet of Cletus to stay by her side when she wasn't feeling well. I don't care how many people try to tell me animals don't experience emotions...I'll never believe it. Cletus made it obvious that animals DO have feelings and they understand love, compassion, and concern. I just love reading about all the farm critters that find their way through your back door. It reminds me of a picture my sister posted on Facebook sometime last year. Her room mate had brought one of the yearling Clydesdale fillies in the house...just because he wanted to see if she would go in there LOL!
Oct. 7, 2011 1:10 pm
haha! Luckily, none of the horses have made it this far...can't say that about cows tho...
Oct. 7, 2011 4:32 pm
Petey had a little lamb, little lamb... it followed her inside one day.... I can't decide who has the sweeter face, the lamb or Emma. I really do think you have a bit of Dr. Dolittle in you. Go have a great time with your children, Randy will take care of the four legged kids.
Oct. 7, 2011 5:12 pm
Which Randy has called you Rocketwoman? Your "Randyman" or this Randy? Or, BOTH Randys? I am Randy also lol.
Oct. 7, 2011 5:27 pm
When I gave up my "mini farm" I had one goat and one turkey left. They were in adjoining pens. Every day they would lay agairip!nst each other with the fence between them and nap in the sun. ... I know you will have a great time with the family, just be careful on that t
Oct. 7, 2011 5:28 pm
Oct. 7, 2011 6:16 pm
I was referring to Randyman-Randy LOL. That is funny!
Oct. 8, 2011 6:41 am
Thanks for the smiles this morning, Petey!!! Hugs to all the kids - 2 legged and otherwise!!!!
Oct. 8, 2011 8:22 am
Great story. Thank you. I really look forward to your blogs. I smile, I cry, I laugh. Take care of you.
Oct. 8, 2011 8:36 am
Yep,,,, I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats! Seriously, LOVED it!
Oct. 8, 2011 9:38 am
Petey - LOVE your blogs. The details and photos are amazing. Someday you should print them in book form for your children. Hope you are having a wonderful time with your family.
Oct. 8, 2011 5:29 pm
This is the first time I've read one of your blogs. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm a city girl living in the plains of North Dakota. I often thought how wonderful it would be living on a ranch. I'll check in again real soon. God bless you and yours.
Oct. 8, 2011 5:34 pm
Hey Petey-I just went to the top of the page after posting my last comment. I saw you were originally from Tehachapi. What a small world! I lived in Bakersfield and worked in the Save Mart Deli there prior to moving to North Dakota. That was a pleasant surprise. ( :
Oct. 8, 2011 5:56 pm
Well here I am adding to the clamor of your fans, and calling for a book. There is really a market for it, just to let you know. Your blogs remind me alot of one of my favorite authors. Maybe you have heard of him, James Herriot. He told the life of a vet so your blogs are almost a companion to his stories. Although the times are different, the way animals touch our lives hasn't changed. Thanks for sharing!
Oct. 8, 2011 6:47 pm
nice to meet you prayerierose. Love the name! I imagine its a wee bit cooler in NDakota than it was in Bakersfield!
Oct. 8, 2011 6:50 pm
Thank you Sinn. Very much!
Oct. 9, 2011 6:47 am
Ah, yes. Sinn is correct. Petey, your writings do compare to James Herriot. I haven't read his works for a while. Thanks for the reminder, Sinn. Have you gotten any good solid leads for contact with a book editor/publisher/newspaper column, etc? Have fun with the kiddos.
Oct. 9, 2011 6:49 am
Prairierose, if you've just begun to read Petey's blogs, you must do as I did. I went back through to the beginning, and read all the prior posted blogs, chronologically. They are awesome! (Sorry Petey, but this is the only way I have to tell her this!)
Oct. 9, 2011 5:22 pm
Yes - I agree Mamaw - to Prayerierose - go back to the beginning and read through - - then you will know what we all know - - it's an incredible journey and a soulful read.
Oct. 10, 2011 7:23 am
I am so jealous of your beautiful living evironment . If you ever want to swap for a while let me know. I would try to give you a sales pitch on the wonders of living in the City of Buffalo in the winter but I'm afraid you already can imagine what it's like. Ha Ha
Oct. 11, 2011 3:07 pm
LOL lost me at "city" :)
Oct. 13, 2011 4:31 pm
my best friend's mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here
Oct. 13, 2011 8:57 pm
you should be ashamed of yourself petersLeonard - - pitchin your trash here - - but you would first need a conscious, which obviously you don't.
Nov. 13, 2011 7:30 am
No kidding, how rude! Love to you & everyone on the far, Petey!
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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.
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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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