This is our little beauty. She is an absolute delight.
I am really excited to report that my son Cody came to see us and brought our 4 year old Abby. After 16 hours on the road, they pulled in at 9:30 at night and little Abby
“Grammy, we brung you your horse!
She was very proud of herself, that she had completed this important mission. I was pretty glad too, mostly because I got to see Cody and Abby, but I am very grateful to have Mister back home also. But
more than anything, I was so glad to lay eyes on them.
For 3 days, she had not a single toy to play with. For the entire 3 days, she never whined, never cried, just played with the animals and laughed and entertained herself.
She is so much like her daddy at that age.
A couple of days before they got her, I was told Abby said she didn't wanna wait and had packed her bags to come visit. That made me smile. Her folks are so good about
helping her remember us, as we only see them a few days each year.
The timing was excellent. Our friend and closest neighbor on the ranch had her grandkids visiting at the same time. The highlight of the week for everyone was feeding
Very early one morning (early for me, as I don't sleep much), I casually went out to the shed to let the 'meaties' out so they could start eating while I had a cup of
coffee and finished waking up and Randyman got calf bottles made. I wasn’t back to the house yet, when the kids from ‘next door’ were happily skipping through the gate, ready to feed the animals.
I was told, they had been up since 6 am, staring through the window waiting to see activity so they could come over. Pretty cute and pretty funny all at once. I did however,
let the meaties go hungry a bit longer the next couple of days to make sure I got at least a cup of coffee in, before we started the day.
These were darn cute kids. They
were also happy, helpful and polite. They explained to Abby how to hold a calf bottle, as they had helped to feed the night before and already had some know-how. You see, calves have a nasty little tendency to butt the bottle or, if you are unfortunate enough
to be a cow, they butt the udder, very, very hard. Randy waited a little too long to explain this to the neighbor herself and the calf she was feeding rammed the bottle into her midsection and just about knocked her off her feet. She was a very good sport
and laughed hard about it, but she also made sure to explain this to the kids. Never hold a calf bottle in front of you. Keep it to the side. Abby is still pretty little and hasn’t got the ballast to overcome that kind of behavior so she watched while her
daddy held a bottle for her.
The goats were another story. I was SURE Abby would fall in love with little Annie. Not so. Annie is rather insistent on attention and Abby took exception to her placing
her front feet upon her little person, no matter how gently she might have done it. Abby's new friends however, got along great with Annie. Abby remembered EmmaLouMoo and would seek her out daily. She remembered helping to milk her last year.
They all went down to the Octopus tree, where the bigger kids climbed the tree with Annie, played tag, and took turns being Abby’s “horse”. I missed this particular field
trip, but I understand a great time was had by all. Each morning and night, all the kids got together and helped us feed 10 bottle calves, 3 baby goats, milk goats, feed 3 different flocks of chickens and still fit in a game of tag, piggy back rides, playing
on the dual purpose cattle chute/monkey bars and the older two even instructed Abby on the finer points of using a small point and shoot camera. There was a ton of laughter and giggling throughout their stay.
Cider got his share of attention too, as they accommodated him by throwing his ball, until his get up and go, did...leaving him panting helplessly in my kitchen.
There was only one low point in Cider's experience. His lower "spa" was finally filled with water, but his ball was resting all alone in the bottom of the empty barrel
next to him just out of reach. Truly it was a pity.
There were daily ‘meatie parades’ as the chickens followed the kids and the bottle wagon back and forth across the yard.
Abby had packed the dress I made her on my treadle. I was told a day or two before they were supposed to leave that she said she didn’t want to wait, she wanted to go
to Grammy’s and had packed her bags already. What a perfect child she is.
One of the more interesting events, to my way of thinking, was the day the boss had about 20 new cows put into the back pasture where the sheep and goats live. EmmaLou
and her two bovine friends reside there as well, and the Maremmas are in charge of security. These cows had been there all night and day and it was no problem, the dogs never objected to their presence.
But this particular afternoon, the kids wanted to go to the Octopus tree again. Bruno observed them from up above until they got closer to the new herd than he felt was
prudent and he jetted across the pasture at top Maremma speed. Next thing we knew, he had run all of those cows into the corner of the pasture and wouldn’t let them move. Now mind you, Maremmas are NOT herding dogs. He was in full protection mode and made
it pretty clear to these poor clueless cows, that it would be a terrible mistake to go ANYWHERE close to where the kids were playing. In fact, if they moved out of the corner, they may have a future as handbags. Once that was settled, he slowly came back to
me (I of course had been trying to get him to come back, to no avail, since he first took off. He is an LGD...not gonna happen if he thinks the cows are a hazard.)
BTW, he had no problem with EmmaLou and her 2 friends being around, as they are HIS cows and I guess not likely to cause any mischief. He does, however place himself between
myself and the cows frequently. Cletus does this as well.
It's a lot like putting yourself on the streetside of your child while walking down the sidewalk.
I was pretty impressed that Bruno would automatically protect kids he didn’t own or know. He just did it because they were little kids and needed protecting.
He placed himself where he could watch the kids without ever losing sight of the herd he had relocated. BTW, Maremmas don't play with humans. They like a good hug or petting
now and then, but are content to just observe and keep vigilance. The idea of fetching a ball or stick, or playing tag with people just never occurs to them. They are hardwired to serve.
Cletus is still out on 'disability'. He doesn't feel ready to go back to work yet. Personally I think he is making more of the situation than it really merits, especially
after coming around the corner of the house to find this.
Meanwhile, the boy representative of the three kids , played tag with Annie all around a wallow. He’d shake a stick at her then turn and run, she would jump up and go
in pursuit. Then they would switch places. It was pretty entertaining to watch.
I was moving too slowly to catch up with everyone a good part of the time, but I could hear and see they were having a great time.
Everyone has headed home now, after only 3 days. It is much too quiet here, but I am probably better off, moving at my own slow and steady pace again, as a lot of the
work fell on Randyman this week.
Mister and I caught up on old times and he seems to remember me.
It was a great three days. I am looking forward to more of them, and two weeks from now, will bring more visitors. It’s gonna be a fabulous summer. I will have to settle
for pictures and email stories of my little angel, my wonderful son and his beautiful wife and baby Kinley.