Beauty And The Beasts - Home on the Range Blog at Allrecipes.com - 278326

Home on the Range

Beauty and the Beasts 
 
Jun. 27, 2012 3:51 pm 
Updated: Jul. 31, 2012 8:13 am



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 said
 “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 the critters.


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.




 
Comments
Jun. 27, 2012 3:58 pm
Your granddaughter is beautiful! What a great 3 days you had, just too short. I love reading your blogs and your pics are always so wonderful!
 
petey 
Jun. 27, 2012 4:19 pm
Thanks Mother Ann. It was way too short, but I am sooo soo happy they came!
 
Saveur 
Jun. 27, 2012 4:33 pm
Awwwwe, Petey! You little "sprite" is about the merriest thing I've ever seen, that first pic of her is so magical...youth! You sure are a lucky lady. What a fine family and an idealic life you have. You are truly blessed. Thank you for sharing with us.
 
Keri 
Jun. 27, 2012 4:34 pm
I always love it when I go to the blogs and see a new "petey blog" :) Abby is absolutely precious!! Having bottle fed calves myself, I know exactly what you mean about the butting!! No matter how many times you try to convince them that butting the bottle won't make the milk come out any faster like it does with Mama's udder, they still think they need to butt. I learned really quickly to keep a tight hold on that bottle and, like you said, hold it to the SIDE :) Thanks for yet another chance to live a wonderful life vicariously through you!
 
Paula 
Jun. 27, 2012 4:36 pm
I agree-you have a beautiful little grandgirl there! Sounds like everyone had a great time. I loved reading about the dog protecting the children. Your blogs are always a joy to read, petey!
 
Bambam 
Jun. 27, 2012 4:39 pm
Very sweet, petey. My granddaugther will be 4 in August. She and her daddy (my son) will be living with me full time in a few months. I'm looking forward to it. I enjoy the way you write and capture the picture to go along with story. Very enjoyable!
 
Jun. 27, 2012 4:41 pm
I Wish I Had a Stone Wall Like That, And The Little Girl Is Cute Too.
 
Jun. 27, 2012 4:57 pm
Oh.....my......gosh. Your entire posse is gorgeous! If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I wanna come back as one of your critters.
 
Jun. 27, 2012 5:00 pm
precious angel, moments and memories
 
Jun. 27, 2012 5:07 pm
I would play it safe and pick a critter well in advance, Ma. You could end up getting milked, branded or castrated.....just sayin';)
 
petey 
Jun. 27, 2012 5:41 pm
Thanks you guys! Bambam, I envy you. It would be wonderful to see these guys more often! Mom...RG is right hahahaha! Tooooo funny!
 
Jun. 27, 2012 5:45 pm
I'm cool wit dat. Just give me land, lots of land under starry skies above. aaaawwooooo! :)
 
Jun. 27, 2012 5:46 pm
That little girl is just perfection! My two favorite pictures of her are the one with her standing on the wooden porch with the chickens below and of her on the horse. OMG. So very precious! I love how the Maremmas are so protective. And her daddy is one handsome kid!
 
petey 
Jun. 27, 2012 6:09 pm
Thank you Marianne, I think he is too. He takes after me...notice the beard? LOL
 
SueC 
Jun. 27, 2012 6:12 pm
What a great read! I would have loved being there with them! I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs as I do feel like I am there! Your pics are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!
 
Bibi 
Jun. 27, 2012 7:22 pm
petey, thanks for sharing your heart with us! I loved my kids, but love is squared for grandkids, as you know. What a precious sprite!
 
Jun. 27, 2012 7:23 pm
With all the dark things in the world today, your blog is a ray of sunshine. Thanks for the reminder that "life is beautiful".
 
petey 
Jun. 27, 2012 9:22 pm
aw thanks sueC. Yes, bibi, its so awesome to see what a great parents my son and his wife are, and what sweetness they created! Thank you Peggy..there is indeed much darkness here. I'm so glad this world isn't all there is!
 
Jun. 28, 2012 4:28 am
Petey - thank you for this blog. I enjoy it so much. Your little grand daughter is a doll. Your entire group is just great. So many times I find myself thinking of you. Thank you for sharing your life. It means more than you could possible know. Have a terrific day.-Patricia
 
Jun. 28, 2012 6:33 am
Ahhhhhh! What a beautiful child! I love the photo of her in full spin. What a lovely visit for all!
 
Jun. 28, 2012 7:28 am
Great story...it made me smile!
 
Lela 
Jun. 28, 2012 8:02 am
I enjoyed reading your blog. Abby is so cute. I learn so much about all the daily chores each time you write a blog. Since I am a city girl, I wouldn't know how to give a bottle to a calf. Great blog!
 
Jun. 28, 2012 2:12 pm
Fantastic! She is an absolute cutie-patootie! I surely understand why you miss her already. Is there anyway you could Skype with them?? So hard being so far apart. There is much about technology that can make me crazy,,,, but some stuff that keeps us closer is pretty wonderful. As always, I felt like I was right there with you. WHEN is that book coming out?? :-) Keep 'em coming, Petey. We need your blogs!!
 
Jun. 29, 2012 7:37 am
This was a joy to read. Beautiful family, and a great few days with them on a ranch in the summer. It doesn't get much better than that!
 
knitmeister 
Jun. 30, 2012 5:39 am
What a great post! and a wonderful family time togethr. I am not a country girl and often wondered what a day would be like and you showed me. Fun and work too.Thanks for the great writing
 
Jun. 30, 2012 8:06 pm
And, a great time was had by all! The End. (that's what our family says after an especially grand time with loved ones) Your new stead is beautiful! That little Grandgal truly IS perfection! I love the photo of her twirling. You just couldn't ask for a happier blog. Thanks for making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
 
Jul. 1, 2012 6:10 am
Another wonderful chapter of your life to share with us! Love it! The first picture of Abby is worthy of a photo contest win!
 
Jul. 1, 2012 1:13 pm
I agree with Lucky Noodles. That is a beautiful shot! Thanks for the blog, Petey. Its wonderful
 
petey 
Jul. 1, 2012 7:17 pm
Thank you. I am hoping to get someone to make me a barnwood frame for that one :)
 
Jul. 3, 2012 7:29 am
Thank you for the blog - She is a little Angel - great pictures !!! You also have a very handsome son :0
 
petey 
Jul. 3, 2012 10:14 am
thanx coot :)
 
gayla 
Jul. 9, 2012 10:05 pm
WOW, another fantastic post - you have a true talent for writing. And, while I love all the photos, the first one of your granddaughter twirling around in her dress and boots, is very special. Thank you so much for sharing with us.
 
dvid 
Jul. 17, 2012 7:11 pm
like Arthur replied I am shocked that a student able to earn $9035 in four weeks on the internet. have you seen this web link NuttyRich.com
 
char 
Jul. 31, 2012 8:13 am
wow, what a wonderful visit you had. You built some wonderful memories for little Abbie. She will always remember you and her great times on the ranch with you. I am sure she will be telling her children and grandchildran all about her times on ther ranch with her grandparents.
 
 
 
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petey

Home Town
Tehachapi, California, USA
Living In
Princeton, Oregon, USA

Member Since
Jan. 2007

Cooking Level
Expert

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Hobbies
Knitting, Gardening, Hunting, Photography, Reading Books

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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.
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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