Mundane And Miraculous (Range To Range) - Home on the Range Blog at - 298688

Home on the Range

Mundane and Miraculous (Range to Range) 
Mar. 6, 2013 2:18 pm 
Updated: Mar. 12, 2013 9:57 pm

It was a wonderful week full of renewal. In the space of just a few days my little flock of sheep all lambed and Annie, the goat, had her baby. They were all doing so well together I decided to turn Annie and ‘Sugars’ out when Sug was just a day old. All the animals were enjoying going out to the pasture and wandering around looking for weeds, while the Maremmas watched over them. There have been a couple of nice days in between storms. This particular day there was intermittent wind and hail but the animals could access their normal pasture with its protective shelter if they needed to, so I didn’t worry.

Bruno helping midwife Thing1&Thing2

Salty's ramlet

Rosemary and Thyme

Sugars and Bruno

I neglected to remember the different habits of sheep and goats, however.
Ewes tend to keep their babies very close. If the lamb cannot keep up, the ewe remains back with it. Cows will usually find a babysitter cow and leave their calves with her. Goats...well, goats tend to hide their kids somewhere and then take off for the day. Annie was bred very young and it was a concern for me how she would do having her baby and what kind of mother she would be. The wind was blowing terribly and hail was coming down and actually hurt as I wandered down to check on everyone, finding all the sheep and lambs together with Annie. Just Annie. No Sugars. She could have hidden her ANYWHERE! She didn’t seem the least bit concerned, although of course, I was. It’s just my nature.

I trekked thru the weeds...LOTS of thistle, downed trees, branches, all to no avail, while Annie followed me! I was worried she had forgotten all about her kid. The sheep fell in behind me and everyone went to their night pasture. I checked around in there, in each tire that sits around a sprinkler. In all the trees and brush piles. Every depression that Cletapotamus has dug. No goat baby. It was getting cold and dark. I was worried she was out somewhere in the pasture alone where she would starve or freeze. At least predators would not be a likely demise with the Maremmas around. The cold made my back spasm and ache. I desperately needed to sit down somewhere. There is a large plastic 2 step mounting block I have out there for just such a purpose. I settle down on it, praying about this poor little goat and appalled that Annie would leave her. Annie stood by me, sniffing me and nibbling on my clothing.

 I turned away from her and reached down to pull some leaves that were sticking out of the hole. That is a cut out in the back of the step for storing hoof picks, brushes....

...and apparently baby goats. Sugar was inside, snug and dry. She was, however, unable to get back out. There wasn’t enough room for her to get turned around. She began to cry and Annie got hysterical as she would not come out, so I lifted the block up onto a feeder where I could better reach her. Grabbing ahold of her back legs I struggled with her as she was now in a full blown panic, sure I was going to pull her out and eat her. After a few traumatic moments I extricated her. Trust me, it was easier to pull her out of Annie’s caboose then out of that mounting block.

The last ewe to lamb was my psycho ewe. She went into labor in the morning and I observed her out in the pasture. She wasn't making any progress at all. Hours later I decided something had to be wrong so I spent 2 hours trying to get her and her bad attitude into the lambing shed. I left for 20 minutes to see if she would settle down, relax and have her baby but she was clearly struggling. As she is very difficult to catch and hold, I grabbed my gloves, lube and other birthing tools and headed out to find help. My nephew, the ranch cowboss was breaking horses in the round pen and kindly came to assist. It still took a good long time to deliver her ramlet, as he had his head tipped back above the pelvic rim and one front leg all the way back. To add to that, he had a huge crowned forehead that wouldn't fit through her exit. Once I got his head positioned and was certain all the parts were his and I'd fixed all I could fix, she hollered and every time she pushed, I pulled. Eventually we got her boy into the world.The ewe had been traumatized by hours of discomfort and an agonizing delivery. She was breathless and fearful. I quickly cleaned all the stuff away from the lamb's face and set him in front of her. Everything that had transpired in the past several hours was totally forgotten as she excitedly licked her newborn and welcomed him to the world. I am always amazed at the miracle of life. It is something to behold and I never get tired of witnessing it or being a part of it.

The babies have all been spending time with the Maremmas, who are like their kindly ‘uncles’. They are all perfectly comfortable with them and the pups clearly adore them. They are never but a few feet away. There have been great horned owls hanging around the house lately and Randy has been afraid they might nab one of the lambs. I have seen them pick up a cat, so its not too much of a stretch to think they just might. The dogs have been working hard to try and discourage them from landing in any trees near the stock. Lately, Cletus has had to sleep inside with the sheep while Bruno patrols on his own. All in all, they stay pretty close to home and don’t really like the lambs out of their site unless they are on their ‘visiting hour’ in the house with us. They only agree to that when the stock is safely locked up in bed. Pretty amazing, these dogs.

I had a couple of glorious days where I was feeling strong enough to play with one of my horses. Mister seems to appreciate the attention as he’s had a lonely winter back in the pasture by himself. I can’t turn him out with the cavvy for a couple of reasons.
 #1 They would eat him alive as he is a sissy stall potato horse from California 
#2 He would freeze his caboose off as he is a sissy stall potato from California
#3 He has no social skills and no idea how to interact with a herd because he is a sissy stall potato from California
#4 I like having him in close where I can visit him whenever I want, instead of having to wait until the cowboys bring all the horses in, early, early, obscenely early in the morning to catch their mounts before turning them out again. This way I can ride when I am actually awake. 

I did have a couple of truly horrible days too, where the autoimmune issues just kicked my butt. I cannot stand to let things go undone. On one morning when I was particularly indisposed with pain, I decided there WAS an activity I could manage. The seeds need to be started.

So I managed to gather up my trays, seeds, plastic spoons, tweezers (kept with the garden stuff for just this purpose, uni-brow be d@mned.)
 I soaked the peat pots in the tray before moving. I then set it on a large metal tray and carried it to the ‘craft table’ which is a big plastic table that is in the back of my very small house to do things such as cutting out patterns and sowing seed. The biggest problem I have had in the past has not been getting the seed to germinate, but keeping track of what everything was. So  now I put a sticky dot in front of each row of seeds labeling what it is, the row number and the date. Afterwards, I break part of the end off of plastic spoons and mark it again, placing the spoons INSIDE the cover, so everything is twice marked.

 Once they germinate, they will go into the bathroom window, which is the only garden window I have. From their they will be put in the greenhouse...which at the moment is laying in a heap. I think I can salvage the cover and use cattle panels to rebuild one. Oh, what a woman can’t do with cattle panels, t-posts and baling wire. It has been the substance of all things sheltery in my life.

Anyway, I was able to just sit quietly and use my tweezers to poke seeds into the soil of the little peat pots and set them in their rows. So far there are San Marzano tomatoes, jalapenos, a chocolate colored hot pepper, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. I have others I will do in a day or two. Other than the stiffness in my hands, it was a good activity for me in the current state I was in and it put me in a better frame of mind, dreaming about what will be when these seeds produce fruit. I stared at the little cabbage seeds in wonder. They are blue because they were treated but they are tiny. So tiny. I marveled at how something like these...

can produce this....

and help to sustain our lives. If that isn't a miracle I don't know what is.

That afternoon, the clouds lifted, the sun came back out and my pain levels went from an 8 to a 2 in a matter of minutes, as quickly as it had come on. So strange that the barometric pressure should be able to have such a powerful affect on a body when I have lived with it all my life! At any rate, I was so happy to feel good, yet again, I grabbed Mister, we had a good ride and Randy got a quick pot of spaghetti for dinner. Things are looking up!

Everyday miracles. They are all around us. Go forth and enjoy!
Mar. 6, 2013 2:39 pm
you always leave me at a loss for words- you are blessed- even with all the pain- and i am blessed to "know" you- thanks again Petey,for sharing your life with us:-)-judy-
Mar. 6, 2013 2:43 pm
Thank you for sharing your day with us. Along with the pictures I could picture what was happening. It was fanatsic to read.
Mar. 6, 2013 2:59 pm
Thanks Nanny/Judy. It's a pleasure to 'know' you as well :) Thanks Nadine. I am glad you liked it!
Mar. 6, 2013 3:41 pm
Awhh...too cute! So happy to hear you were able to enjoy a few days outside. You have an indomitable spirit in everything you do. Thanks for sharing. By the way, how do you get your pictures enlarged and laid out like that? I have tried but can't figure it out. I've also wanted to pull in pictures without them going to the AR photo section. Would love some advice. You do such a great job!
Mar. 6, 2013 3:46 pm
Babies are so cute! I could look at them for hours! Thanks for letting us look at them.
Mar. 6, 2013 4:24 pm
petey, I agree that there are so many everyday miracles happening in everyone's life.... just need to take the time to recognize and be thankful to be a part of each of them. I love reading your blogs and thank you for sharing your life. Hope you have many more days like this one ! Bless you always.
Mar. 6, 2013 4:39 pm
Cookin' Cyn, I do all my blogs on my blogspot websites, then cut and paste to copy them here as well. Hope that helps!
Mar. 6, 2013 4:53 pm
So glad you found Sugar and were able to get her out. I am also glad you were able to go riding. Your seedlings are promising. I share the same sentiments regarding those tiny wondorous seeds and what they can do. It is truly a miracle. We are very fortunate to recognize and respect that. I gotta say that those dogs of yours are amazing and I would attribute a lot of that to the way they've been brought up and trained. You're the reason - for so many things. I a proud to know you. Thank you once again for your blog. You've made me cry, laugh and think. These blogs are something I truly look forward to. Thank you for coming into my life. You're a wonder and a blessing. Take good care of you.
Mar. 6, 2013 5:36 pm
Petey,very happy you had a few good days.Love your pictures,those animals are amazing.As always love reading about your life,thanks for sharing.
Mar. 6, 2013 6:52 pm
you guys have all become very dear to me. Thanks for taking time out of your day to read my entries and to stop and leave a comment. It means a lot and I appreciate it very much!
Mar. 6, 2013 6:56 pm
i so agree. a new day dawns...watching new life. plant or animal brings a great sense that we are just a spoke in the gears. you have a unique sense of the moment. submit these blogs to a book. you uplift with your stories.
Mar. 6, 2013 9:49 pm
thanks, gderr. That is nice to hear :)
Mar. 7, 2013 4:45 am
It was nice to settle in for story time with petey! I was only missing a cup of coffee. I need to remember to make coffee before I open your post next time! I love it. It's like chatting with a friend. Thanks petey!
Mar. 7, 2013 8:14 am
Thanks, Petey. Your blogs are wonderful and inspiring!
Mar. 7, 2013 8:22 am
Petey, I haven't written in to you yet because your blogs are so beautiful, I just never know how to express the joy and emotion they bring out in me. Your life is so different than anything I have lived, yet I feel like I am up early with you every morning milking the cows, tending to the "sheeple" (love that term!), watching the babies being born..... Your writing is so descriptive, and so heartfelt! I think of you often as my grandmother had severe RA and was bedridden the last 40 years of her life. I can't even imagine how you do it every day. You are an amazing lady and I feel blessed to be able to enjoy your stories. Thank you so much for sharing them.
Mar. 7, 2013 9:13 am
what a wonderful read. Sugar looks like a sweetie.I wonder if the ram will be as difficult as his mommy.
Mar. 7, 2013 9:31 am
My goodness those veggies look amazing and delish! ;-)
Mar. 7, 2013 12:55 pm
AZ93 Thanks for stopping by! I admit it hurts to do the things i do, but they are what bring joy to my life and i cannot imagine giving it all up. Someday I may have no choice, but for now, i will keep on fighting to keep going, no matter what. I'm sorry your grandma spent 40 years bedridden. She is the real hero here.
Mar. 7, 2013 1:18 pm
Another unbelievable blog. What a life, both bad and glorious you have. I glad that you have days that you don't have pain, or at least bareable pain. I love your blogs sooo much!
Mar. 9, 2013 4:40 am
Thanks for the beautiful stories and being such an inspiration. These adventures just leave me with a much happier heart. Hugs to you, Petey!
Mar. 9, 2013 10:45 am
Thanks Maggi and Cindy! :)
Mar. 10, 2013 8:56 am
petey, the miracle to me is that with all you do to care for the animals (whether 2 legs or 4) in your life, that you still have time write such a wonderful blog. Good writing takes time, which I know is in short supply in your home. Your writings are a joy to read, and once again, I thank you for opening a window into 'frontier' living. And is there anything cuter than a baby critter? I think they're made deliberately cute to keep us from killing them when they get a notion to act like, well, baby critters! ;)
Mar. 10, 2013 9:33 am
Thanks lucylove. haha! I can usually deal with them as babies, but when they are grown...well...I have to admit, my freezer is full.
Mar. 10, 2013 3:58 pm
I look so forward to your blogs. You are so amazing. The pictures are great and I can just picture everything else you describe i t so well. Thanks for making me happy when I read..
Mar. 11, 2013 3:59 pm
Loved this blog-the new life, plantings & hope & joy that you embody. Thanks for sharing your country way of life with us.
J. Dub 
Mar. 12, 2013 10:12 am
As always, I enjoy your posts so much, Petey. Baby sheep and goats are my favorite. So cutie! And, I love your story about the goat in the stool. God led you to that spot for a rest and heard your prayers.
Mar. 12, 2013 9:57 pm
Thanks you guys, and thanks for stopping by to comment!
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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.
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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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