Feathers And Strokes - Home on the Range Blog at Allrecipes.com - 299461

Home on the Range

Feathers and Strokes 
Mar. 19, 2013 9:20 am 
Updated: Apr. 11, 2013 2:53 pm

Sometimes things take planning and other times they just come together. I am sort of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl so planning, orderliness and organization really isn’t in my skill set. But I do try and accomplish a variety of things everyday, at least on the days when I am feeling bouncy-happy-almost-painfree. I milk my cow daily and that sort of sets a precedent for a bunch of other chores I have...such as processing the milk, skimming off the heavy cream to use in sour cream, whipped cream and other products or yummy heart attack on a plate sauces. (My alfredo sauce is literally to die for) Actually, it’s just not so that my whole milk is not good for you. It does pack a lot of calories drinking it this way tho. I digress. Sometimes I have little visitors that help with the milking chores.

With normally just me and the Randyman to consume, I have a LOT of excess milk. Em gives me 2-3 gallons a day on once a day milking. So some of it goes to making mozzarella, cream cheese, ice creams, ricotta, hard cheeses, etc. For someone who has never liked domestic type work, or cooking, I find that making our meals from scratch to be a lot of fun. I also hate running to the store for ingredients so it makes sense to me, to have the basic elements on hand to make whatever we need. One of these things is a grain mill and another is a pasta roller. Now a pasta roller would have been a TON of fun when my kids were little. 

I had a hankering for lasagna. I had plenty of mozzarella and I also had ricotta that Is made from the leftover whey in making mozzarella. I went down the list of ingredients and lo and behold, I had all we needed, if I was just willing to take a little more time putting it together.

First off I needed meat, so grabbed some of the ranch beef out of the freezer and a bit of italian sausage I had made earlier from ground pork butt. (the pork butt was from the store). With the tomatoes I canned, I tossed all the stuff I needed to make the sauce into the pan. Meanwhile I grabbed some fresh eggs, the ricotta, parsley I had dried over the summer out of the garden and the cheese filling was ready to go.

I then grabbed a couple more eggs (warm them to room temp) and mixed them with a cup of freshly milled soft whole wheat flour to make my pasta.  After it rested a bit, I ran It thru the pasta roller a few times, cut it to lengths I liked and hung it to dry for an hour. I then assembled the lasagna, put it in the oven to bake and stood with bated breath while Randyman tasted it. He went back for more so many times, half of the 9x13 casserole dish was empty! He made sure to ask me to make that dish again...and again...and again. It was a bit labor intensive but it was worth it.

Ain’t nuthin’ like the real thing, baby!

Meantime, drastic weather changes which affected me, I suspect they also affected my old Golden Retriever, Cider. I came in from milking to find Cider by the door, unable to rise. I thought maybe he'd had a seizure or injured himself. I petted him carefully and gave him some time to relax as he was very rigid. He's been getting skin tags and knots and I was worried about cancer as well. He's going gray and not able to catch just anything we throw like he used to. It's hard to see him slowing down.

Cider was a gift from my son and a friend one Christmas. He's been my constant companion and personal jester. He has helped bring laughter out of my tears through some very sorrowful times. He's just that kind of a guy.

He is also a champion babysitter to all things cute and small...

 Little spuds 

Orphaned newborns


and small....

He's usually pretty relaxed and laid back...

He's really quite simply, irresistible.

I was really concerned about him, and frankly, both Randyman and myself were afraid we would wake up in the morning to find him 'gone'. I had laid him down behind the chair I sleep in a lot. Next morning, I steeled myself for what I might find and when I arose, I turned to find an empty space where he had been. Assuming he had passed away and Randy had gone to bury him so I didn't have to see him that way, I burst into tears. I headed into the bathroom only to find Cider asleep on the papasan chair pillow Randy had put on the floor for him. I guess he had managed to get up in the middle of the night and stood by the bed for over an hour until Randy finally realized he needed help.

He spent a miserable night, in pain, unable to rise or lay down by himself. I filled him full of Rimadyl, a canine painkiller/anti inflammatory and we hauled him 2 hours to the vet the following day. She verified he had indeed had a stroke, but he was improving rapidly. The hours of rigidity threw his back out which caused all his major problems so he is on seizure watch and medications and doing really well. He's back to his old self already. Hopefully we will still have a couple of years before I have to say goodbye to him, my best of friends.

While in the booming metropolis of Burns, Oregon, which is so large, it even has a Dairy Queen, we went by the farm store to buy him a new toy. We also found turkey poults. So Cider got a new squeaky toy and the Maremmas got baby turkeys. I love happy endings. Don't you?
Mar. 19, 2013 9:30 am
I smiled, laughed, cried, and smiled again. Lovely read.
Mar. 19, 2013 9:36 am
I was so afraid to keep reading. I didn't want Cider to die. So glad for now, that your friend is doing well. It makes perfect sense but I never thought about animals having strokes. I hope your dear friend keeps improving. Also shocked to learn you don't like cooking. I would think you would have to do all the things you do!
Mar. 19, 2013 9:41 am
I almost stopped reading when I got to the part where you didn't know where Cider was,i had tears,but I read on I love happy endings also.The pictures are lovely.
Mar. 19, 2013 9:48 am
I am happy that Cider is doing better. I was like Joey Joan through my stages of emotions. Great pictures of Cider put a smile on my face.
Mar. 19, 2013 10:02 am
I'm so glad Cider is doing better. I have a 13 1/2 year old chocolate lab who is a beloved member of our family. He's a cancer survivor but is doing well and is a happy guy. I can't imagine him not being here...I've had him since he was 8 weeks old. He loves his squeaky toys, too. :)
Mar. 19, 2013 10:06 am
It was for sure a tough afternoon and evening. He has amazed us with his recovery though. I am so grateful to have more time with him as I am just not ready to let him go. I don't 'hate' to cook, like I once did, but if you gave me the choice to be cooking or out riding, I'd be horseback in nothing flat!
Mar. 19, 2013 10:13 am
Petey, my retriever Lord Robert Dudley sleeps on my back that same way he is on your grand-daughter's. I love waking up to his morning kisses and cuddles. It sets the theme for my whole day! Kiss Cider from Aunt Kate and tell him he is loved more than he knows.
Mar. 19, 2013 10:22 am
So glad this had a happy ending !! The beautiful pictures show what a wonderful joy he is to you and others. Praying that he has many more happy times. Bless you.
Mar. 19, 2013 10:30 am
I had my heart in my mouth as I read this. My grand old gal is getting up there too and I count each day she is with me as an added blessing. Give Cider an extra treat for me, please.
Mar. 19, 2013 10:33 am
Hi Petey! That lasagna looks wonderful. Your friend Cider is a keeper until the lord says its time. What a beauty. As for the other critters, they are adorable. Enjoy your day my friend. Take good care of you.
Mar. 19, 2013 11:02 am
A wonderful read once again! I would buy every book you ever published!
Mar. 19, 2013 1:42 pm
Thank you all. I try not to ever ignore him when he comes to me for attention. When he is no longer there to give attention to, I don't want to live with the regret that I wasted the time I have with him. Same thing with my kids. Time spent with them is the best investment. WE are all so lucky to have creatures like this to love on!
Mar. 19, 2013 1:51 pm
Petey, I am going through some hard times right now myself. My husband is very very ill. I came to work today for the first time in a while now. I was like a breath of fresh seeing you had a new blog up. I am so sorry to hear however that Cider is having some problems. I know how hard it is to have to watch a pet getting older. Enjoy him while you can though. He is worth it.
Mar. 19, 2013 4:21 pm
Petey you're blogs always make me smile, laugh and cry all at the same time. Another beautiful blog with a happy ending. I'm so glad to hear Cider is doing well. Make sure to give him extra hugs today!
Mar. 19, 2013 5:09 pm
char, I read about your husband and you guys are in my prayers. Cider is doing remarkably well. He's happy and wanting me to throw everything he brings again. It's amazing how many perfect cow pies he can find on the ranch! Thanks korilynne :)
Mar. 20, 2013 6:23 am
Petey, I love your blog and I wish Cider many more happy and healthy day ahead. Thanks for the great read.
Mar. 20, 2013 5:25 pm
All I can is I just love you and your life! Thanks for sharing!:)
Mar. 21, 2013 8:25 am
I'm glad Cider is recovering, I was a little bit concerned about continuing to read as I'm at work and didn't want to start crying at my desk! I lived in Burns when I was about 8; I dont remember a DQ, but I do know they had a Safeway!
Mar. 22, 2013 12:07 pm
Very funny and sad sorry at the same time.. I really love to see your pictures about everything you do a great job telling a story..Even your dog is funny w/ out even trying to be he is just himself...What a great dog.Looking forward to seeing more about his life...
Mar. 22, 2013 5:32 pm
He is a clown that really helps keep my spirits up during hard times. If the Ra flares too badly, he's always good for a snuggle while the Polarbears are out watching the sheep :)
Apr. 11, 2013 2:53 pm
One of our boys had a stroke and I was amazed at his recovery! He had his major stroke at 14 and lived another 2 years. Saw he was starting another stroke about 6 months later, gave him Bufferin and that stroke was much milder (vet said it probably helped but who really knows). So glad you have him for longer though!
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Kim Snyder

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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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