Shoppin' Day - Home on the Range Blog at - 269743

Home on the Range

Shoppin' Day 
Mar. 9, 2012 4:56 pm 
Updated: Mar. 20, 2012 12:50 am

This is the month we do our quarterly shopping. Replenishing should not be as expensive as it usually is, however. We won’t be buying ANY dairy, now that I make all of our butter, sour cream, cream cheese and the like. 
Most of our money will be going to livestock feed. We will be needing salt and grain for EmmaLouMoo’s last 3 months of lactation and the calves plus I need enough Chicken food for the eggers and to enough to raise the 30 meatie chickens who arrive in April. I am hoping to spend a minimum on dogfood as I hope to switch the dogs to a raw diet. I am wary of all the recalls on commercial foods, in which so many ingredients come from China. It is a country which seems to care little about the safety of its own people, they certainly care nothing for my animals. I am not willing that my dogs be the next victims. I’m just not sure how I will buy and store enough meat to feed over 300 lb of dogs for 3 months at a time. The change will have to come slowly, until I figure it all out.
We will be buying onions and potatoes, as well as carrots. I have plenty of celery and mushrooms dehydrated so we won’t need any of those, this trip. Brown rice, soda crackers and of course, corn tortillas, because I am too lazy to make them all the time, Kosher salt, sugar, nuts, lettuce and Randyman’s treats and we are pretty much good to go. Tortillas are one of the things on my bucket list to master and freeze.
My 'new' antique treadle is in town at my cousin’s, so we will get to see her when we pick it up and I am very excited about both as I have not seen her in 30 years. I also scored a great deal on some reusable canning lids and am picking those up. In addition, we pick up a young goat buckling, because Peebody isn’t up to the job. We are buying it from a members on the KeepingAFamilyCow forum, so it will be nice to meet them!
My grain mill should be here soon, as well as the wheatberries I ordered. I am hoping to find some soft white wheat in town to grind for pastry flour. This month will be a learning curve for baking with whole grain flours. I am really looking forward to it and once again, it cuts way down on the grocery bills. According to my research, the wheatberries, properly stored, keep almost indefinitely, whereby flour, does not. Plus all the healthy stuff has been taken out of commercial flour, so we should benefit that much more from grinding our own because it will still contain the bran and the kernal and all.
I had gotten a great deal on a butterchurn on ebay. I was really looking forward to it getting here as I can churn 7 quarts of heavy cream at a time, instead of only 2 quarts. It was a beautiful antique electric churn with an old embossed glass jar. The seller didn’t package it quite well enough and neglected to mark the large heavy box as ‘Fragile’ or 'Breakable' and it arrived with the jar in pieces. I was devastated. I have found a different kind of jar I am hoping Randyman can adapt to work with the motor. I won’t have the beautiful antique I had paid for, but at least I might have a working churn. I am still waiting on ewe #3 to lamb. She is being quite obstinate about it. I spend night after night watching sheep TV, but she has been so uninterested in doing her part I haven’t even bothered to stay up. I just watch her until its time to go to bed. I hope she gets it done before we leave for town, because she is a high risk ewe, and I hate to leave her with my friend "D" to have to take care of. She has already offered to milk EmmaLouMoo and feed all the other critters. No small feat.
The windstorms have EmmaLou upset enough that if there is any wind or snow, she will not use her tent shelter now, so she has taken over the lambing shed. She’s a bit of a princess, as she now has a ‘guest’ quarters. This meant we needed another place to jug up the ewes for lambing. Randyman to the rescue. In driving snow, he climbed up on the rock wall to put sheeting in the open gable of the milkroom to keep snow from falling inside. After spending several hours of remodeling, and moving feed, tack and straw bales we had a spot.

The pups have done an excellent job lately of guarding the sheep. I had previously always let them choose where they wanted to go and they have been effective as we have had no losses, but last January, with the arrival of all the bird hunters, they become so worried about what was going on in front of the house, they weren’t paying enough attention to what was going on out back. I decided I want them to follow the sheep by day, and then they can patrol where they choose to, by night. It took a few days of my hanging out with them in the pasture, but they are so amazingly intelligent, they figured it out. Now, each morning, Randyman lets them in the house to visit with me while I have my cup of coffee, then they follow me out when I go to milk. They go to the pasture with the sheep and I take care of the cow, calves, goats and chickens. Bruno tends to stay up closer to the corral where the chickens are while Cletus follows the sheep around. That has been a surprise, as Cletus has always been the chicken lover. I have a feeling that when the meatie chicks come, they will switch roles again. Cletus is the 'mother-hen' of the pair, while Bruno is more businesslike. For Cletus it’s a passion while for Bruno it's a job. Both are excellent at what they do though, they just have very different personalities. 

Cletus, is a big doofus and weighs about 120 lb. (Randyman thinks he weighs more than that) Bruno, is a bit smaller and much quicker. He is also the instigator. Cider, our red-headed stepchild, loves to terrorize Cletus, just because he can. He runs around him, growling and making all kinds of macho noises. Cletus won’t hurt him intentionally, but tries to engage him in play. He will lift his giant feet up to swat at Cider, but before he has a chance, Bruno sweeps in and jerks Cletus’ back legs out from under him. Cider has no idea that Bruno is actually protecting him. I don’t think Cletus knows it either. We have observed this pattern night after night. It blows my mind how intelligent Bruno really is. 


We made it back home from our shopping trip. We left at 6 a.m. and got home at 1 a.m. the following morning. Glad we only do this 4x a year! Our next scheduled trip will be in June. It was GREAT to see my cousin, whom I haven't seen for 25 years. She's newly married to a really nice guy, who has carried a picture of them in his wallet of a Junior Prom (we will just say a LONG time, as its not nice to give away ages!) all this time. How awesome is that??? Definitely the stuff movies are made of.

We blabbered on happily through lunch, while our guys looked on with raised eyebrows and often blank looks while eating their hamburgers. We loaded the treadle in the horse trailer, agreed that maybe next trip we will come the afternoon before and stay overnight and headed to our next destination. WE had already picked up a ton of livestock feeds, some spring wheat to plant in the chicken corral, fencing for EmmaLou's small pasture and a few odds and ends. We drove another hour to the NW and picked up the goat buckling. He's a cutie. We had a great time meeting my internet friend from the cow boards, meeting all her cows, pigs and goats. We put the little guy in a dog crate in the big stock trailer and spent the next several hours finishing up by buying our 3 months worth of people groceries, doing errands at the Lowe's home store (as we refuse to patronize HomeDepot) and stopped at a fast food joint to get a large cup of boiling water to heat little feller's bottle in. As we were standing the dark parking lot, a big SUV pulled up and a lady asked if her little girl could see the 'sheep' that were in the trailer. She was surprised to find out that not only was it NOT a sheep, but there was only ONE of him. He had been pretty vocal about his discontent. I let the little girl feed him his bottle and we went down the road for dinner. After our last stops we headed out of town and stopped at the last gas station for another cup of hot water as it had been 3 hours since little feller's last bottle. I brought him in the cab of the truck where it was warm, as the trailer gets too cold and windy on the road, and he was already pretty stressed out from being de-horned, pulled from his mama and siblings, and switched from goat to cow's milk, all in his first few days of life. He gratefully cuddled up on my lap and slept the 4 hours to the ranch, only waking once or twice to bleat a little "are we home yet?" at us. The pups met us in front of the house, Cider introduced them to the little feller, who Randyman thought should spend the night in the house, inside in the dog crate and we headed for bed. Not bad for a day's work!

Mar. 9, 2012 5:25 pm
Awesome! You, Randyman, and "little feller" too! Thanks for sharing this "day in the life of a ranch family" story. Loved every word of it!
Mar. 9, 2012 5:56 pm
Petey, your life is so full of life and there is always some chore to do. I enjoy your blog. My Father-in-Law is 94 and lived most of younger years on a farm. There is something to be said for raising your own food without all the pesticides. Thanks, for sharing. The little goat is really cute.
Mar. 9, 2012 6:43 pm
Thanks mamaw :) It is a great life, Lela.
Mar. 9, 2012 8:25 pm
Great blog as usual RW. A question, what have you against Home Depot? Just curious.
Mar. 9, 2012 8:54 pm
Another outstanding blog. I love how organized and fine tuned you've made your shopping. BTW, I've always loved them Red Headed Step Children. LOL!!! As a child, I think I was an Instigator too!
Mar. 9, 2012 11:42 pm
I get tired just reading about all the work you do. You are a hardy bunch.
Mar. 10, 2012 4:52 am
Hi Petey. So good to get your blog. I love reading about your days on the paradise you call home. Those animals really are your children, aren't they? I look forward to your stories more than you can know. Be well.
Mar. 10, 2012 5:01 am
Ahh, that's awful about your churn! Again great story telling and sharing your "day" with us. The DH built me a coop. I think he got the nesting boxes too short, they are only 12" tall. Soon I will have my own hens. Yeah! Boy, do I wish I could buy some of your dairy products. Have you done any blogs about using your dehydrated produce? I just dried 10 lb. of potatoes(great sale on them) and was wondering about recipes to use them in.
Mar. 10, 2012 5:46 am
He's a handsome buckling, Petey... Nubian cross? What a cutie! :) Have you named him yet?
Mar. 10, 2012 7:16 am
thanks Raedwulf. I won't go into why I cannot patronize HD here. Just suffice it to say I won't let them use my money to promote their agenda.
Mar. 10, 2012 7:18 am
thanks Candice, Marie and Rosebud :)
Mar. 10, 2012 7:19 am
Cathill, I mostly use my dehydrated stuff in soups and stews, but I do often rehydrate mushrooms to sautee for other things
Mar. 10, 2012 7:20 am
gf4us, actually he's a purebred Nubian, but we haven't found a name for him yet. Nothing seems to fit him!
Mar. 10, 2012 11:53 am
It's for sure his baby nickname is "little feller"! It's cute and sweet, just kike he is!
Mar. 10, 2012 11:54 am! (I had a classmate who couldn't say "l"s. HE would've said "kike"! LOL
Mar. 10, 2012 12:23 pm
Wow....Petey you are such an excellent writer. Everytime I read your bog, I just feel like I am right there with you, the dogs, cow, sheep and goats. Your new little guy is so cute. Will Rosemary be jealous of him. I hope they will be playmates and keep each other company. Wonder which one will be the instigator. Don't ever stop blogging.
Mar. 10, 2012 12:25 pm
I do think you select your animals based on how sweet their faces are. Randyman is so good hearted too. I'm sure he had other things he'd rather be doing in the snow. Thanks for another look at your life.
Mar. 10, 2012 3:44 pm
Another great blog! I love reading about your ranching life.
Mar. 11, 2012 6:07 am
Great blog, thanks again for sharing with us!
Mar. 11, 2012 7:31 am
Petey! I am so sad to hear about the churn! I have been wondering about it since your last post! Stinks it wasn't sent correctly! LOVE how you are making it work anyway! Question - hope not to personal... How did you come by the name of Petey? I ask cause we call our little peanut girl Pearce our sweetie Petey! She is such a Petey to us it could have been her given name!!
Mar. 11, 2012 9:13 am
Love it. So glad you are figuring something out with the churn. Y'all work so hard! It would be so hard for me to get used to not being able to run to the store when the feeling hit me. Do you ever get lonely out there?
Mar. 11, 2012 1:09 pm
I just love reading your blogs, your life is so different than mine...but the kind of life I wish I had. Sorry to hear about the churn, that is too bad, but glad you can still use it. Randyman is one handyman to have around. I can just see you in the cab of that truck with the goat all cuddled up with you. You are surely one of a kind Petey.
Mar. 11, 2012 1:42 pm
Oh Petey - what a long day. The energy that you and Randyman have amazes me. Thank you for sharing your life with us and so sorry about the churn. That stinks.
Mar. 11, 2012 5:02 pm
It's Christmas in March for you - a butter churn (albeit with a broken jar) - a treadle sewing machine - and a new little buck for future younguns - - whew!!! You had a full day!!!
Mar. 12, 2012 9:41 am
I look forward to your blogs..They are so much fun to read..
Mar. 12, 2012 7:21 pm
I just found your blog and I sure did enjoy this! I grew up on a farm in the South that my family had homesteaded many generations ago and it's nice to read about what y'all are doing. The animals are all beautiful. What breed of dog are Cletus and Bruno?
Mar. 13, 2012 12:35 pm
Petey, you live a wonderful life. I wish that more people could live like you. I think that people would be kinder to their family, animals and even themselves. I always look forward to reading your blogs and looking at your pictures.
Mar. 13, 2012 2:29 pm
well, I've been without internet for a few days! I will try to answer all the questions in one post :) The new jar came, Randy made the changes and the churn is working! no, I don't get lonely out here, actually, I feel more lonely around people than I do around the critters. Cletus and Bruno are Maremmas, it is an Italian breed of Livestock Guardian Dog. I came by the handle "Petey" because I can't remember names and passwords for every site, There are a gazillion Kims, but I had a dog named Peteyfoozer and there is only ONE of those! So wherever I go, I am now petey or peteyfoozer. Nothing too exciting, I'm afraid, just practical! LOL
Mar. 14, 2012 8:37 pm
Oh, Petey! Yet again what a wonderful blog. I felt like I was riding along with you for your day of shopping! The dogs remain amazing. Such good stuff...we ARE all waiting for your first book so we can say "we knew her when..."!
Mar. 14, 2012 9:21 pm
great blog, as always :) your dogs are beautiful! i put my dogs on a raw food diet a few months ago, and so far so good. i did it quickly. one day dry kibble the next....BAM! raw all the way. good luck. oh, btw, i'm sure you've researched raw food diets but just make sure you don't give them dry food and raw at the same time. it will make them sick. fyi :)
Mar. 15, 2012 8:28 pm
This was my first time reading your blog and I enjoyed it very much!
Mar. 16, 2012 12:55 pm
Hi Petey! I agree with what everyone else said - I enjoy hearing about your adventures on the ranch and I love seeing all the pictures! I look forward to the next one!
Mar. 16, 2012 7:06 pm
Too lazy to make corn tortillas all the time, Petey??? Shake your head, girl!! Lazy is not a term that should ever be used in describing you and the way you handle life on the ranch. I am amazed at your ingenuity and energy level every time I read one of your blogs. And I know exactly what you mean about HD...wish we had a Lowe's in the northeast part of the state. Anyhow, I enjoyed your blog and pictures as much as ever.
Mar. 17, 2012 2:23 pm
Thanks you guys! :)
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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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