Talkin' Turkey - Home on the Range Blog at - 302184

Home on the Range

Talkin' Turkey 
May 6, 2013 7:50 am 
Updated: May 8, 2013 4:15 pm

It’s been a whirlwind of a week!  Poor Mrs Turkey passed away. We were not taken by surprise as she had seemed to be quite sickly from the beginning, never gaining much size. As a result, Mr Turkey has turned to me and suddenly become strongly bonded. He becomes ecstatic when I step out to the green house to water or repot the seedlings.

The rocket car people volunteered to come do a barn raising for a barn that has been in the planning stages for quite awhile. The migratory birds are arriving on their way through. It always intrigues me how the Maremmas can discern between predatory and non predatory birds. They allow the Canadian Geese and others to rest in our pastures unmolested, but if a hawk, crow or owl show up, the battle is on. They will actually leap in the air and try to catch them if the birds tease and get too low. They've always had an uncanny sense for who is benign. Take Cider for instance. He is allowed in the pastures although he is closely watched. If he wants to play or touch any of the animals, he is immediately body blocked by Bruno and if that isn't enough, a verbal warning is added to the mix. That usually does the trick. Occasionally he takes flights of fancy and imagines himself to be an LGD, but of course he can't be, because they are a specially developed genre of dogs that have different instincts, behaviors, and prey drive from any other genre of dog. A half bred or non LGD cannot do an equivalent job, but Cider takes pleasure in pretending, just the same.

Cabins had to be cleaned from the winter and readied for their arrival so the boss’ wife, myself, and the other 3 women on the ranch plus a couple of cowboys went to work for a couple days. They finished up, while I attacked our house in anticipation of our very own company, as my niece and her family were due to arrive on Friday night. They’ve never been here so this has been a long awaited and very exciting event for us.

They got here right on time and it wasn’t but a few hours before a return trip was already in the plans, maybe even a kidnapping of my brother and his wife to bring them along. In just 1 day there has been a lot of activity. We had sourdough waffles for breakfast with home-milled whole wheat, homemade butter and Mrs. Butterworth’s. We milked EmmaLou, played with the sheep, toured part of the ranch, visited Mister, gathered eggs, made soap and homemade ice cream and they went dirt bike riding on the lakebed. Everywhere we went out back, Mr Turkey followed in our tracks. At one point he was in the way so much, I had to pick him up and tuck him under my arm. He seemed perfectly content to be carried that way. Earlier in the week, I had some 1 gallon plants to put in the ground. Randyman dug the holes and I got down on my hands and knees to put them in. Mr Turkey came to help and supervise the operation. He got too close to the hole and fell in. I plucked him out and set him back on my feet. He fell in again. I removed him a second time and shoved the plant in it’s place in hopes to keep him out. As I tucked in dirt around it, he pecked at my fingers continually. I flicked his beak. He grabbed my fingers again. I was getting flustered with him, continually demanding that he stop doing that, and wondering just exactly WHY was he attacking my hands? I then threw dirt over his big feet to discourage him, but his toes stuck out. He promptly bent down and grabbed his toe...that is when it dawned on me...he thought they were WORMS!! Big, fat, tasty worms. What a score my fingers must have appeared to be. He could shove one in his pantry and survive off of it through the winter. That revelation behind me, I found some colored gloves and he no longer harassed me as the worms seemed to have disappeared.

He followed our little group on its long trek from the milk room, through Emma’s corral, through the big corral, down the lane and into the milk pasture where Em and Mister spend their time. One the way back, he took a liking to my niece’s long legged husband and kept trotting to keep up, while we snickered from behind. He’s turned out to be surprisingly entertaining. I have had to resort to putting up a doggie/baby gate to keep him out of my house when I leave the door open.

Last night, he finally had enough of being ignored and treated like a lesser citizen of the ranch. As we sat at the table, talking, laughing, visiting with the Maremmas, Cider and Scottiedog, who took a tumble out of the pick up truck last week and is badly bruised, Mr Turkey had made plans. I washed my hands in the back bathroom and as I walked through the bedroom back towards the kitchen in the coming darkness I was startled and horrified by the specter of  ...


He had perched himself on the small table outside of my bedroom window and was peering in. Feeling violated, I scurried to the kitchen table, only to find him now perched on the large can by the back door where we keep the milk replacer for the bottle calves. He was staring in through the top of the door at us. As we all stared back at him, laughing, he launched himself at the window and SPLAT!! Slid down the door to the ground. A few minutes later he dusted himself off and made a second attempt with the same results...and a third...I am beginning to thing he belongs in Washington DC as he has yet to learn from any of his mistakes. At least now he has a name. Peeping Thomas.

We  had a great time with the family. They rode across the enormous lakebed and over toward the desert where the cows winter. We ALMOST got to play Pictionary, (my very favorite game)  but we were so busy talking and enjoying each other it never happened. We had homemade ice cream and a lot of other good stuff to eat. We talked about pretty much everything and think so much alike we could be relatives...but then, actually...we are! They packed up today and headed back home after saying goodbye to the polar bears, turkey, Cider, Scottie and ourselves, with a promise to return before summer's end, with plans to do some good eating and some shooting.

 New chicks are on the way, 50 meaties, so the guineas had to be captured and shoved into a smaller pen until they are old enough to turn loose. It’s going to be a full and busy summer. I hope there will be lots of family to share it with!
May 6, 2013 8:11 am
Hi; as usual a great blog. I am so happy that you had a great time with your family members is building great memories for years to come. Thank you for sharing with us. Love the farm by the way.
May 6, 2013 8:17 am
Spring sounds like a very busy time for you on the Ranch. I just love that the Tom has bonded to you after the passing of his Mrs. I am a bird lover because of their very nature you mentioned above. Would love to make the journey to visit you and the wonders of your life Petey! I know your Niece and family will thoroughly enjoy themselves! What a blessed life you live.
May 6, 2013 8:17 am
Wonderful blog! I gotta say that Cider is a handsome devil. Now about your Peeping Thomas...hilarious. I guess he is lonely. How have you been Petey?
May 6, 2013 8:26 am
Thanks Nadine, it was a great weekend! Candice I'd love for you to come! :)
May 6, 2013 8:28 am
Rosebud, my nephew actually filmed Thomas going SPLAT on the window and I posted it on the regular blogsite. It doesn't take video on here, but we were in hysterics that night. The bird is RELENTLESS! I've done real good since the last steroid injection, storming today so not enjoying the benefits but hoping new treatment will really make the difference for me as I have BIG plans! :)
May 6, 2013 8:55 am
Another great blog, petey! But I've come to expect every one of them to be great. I'm so glad you enjoyed your family. Makes me wish I were family too :)
May 6, 2013 10:40 am
Love it!!
May 6, 2013 11:43 am
Great blog petey, very happy you had a great time with your family. That turkey is too funny.What a hoot.
May 7, 2013 4:43 am
SO glad that you are feeling well enough to do so much! I got tired reading about your life! My condolences for Mrs. Turkey. I think Thomas needs to find another Jenny before he's too old and has to live as a bachelor.
May 7, 2013 9:15 am
That turkey is a real hoot!!! Glad your neice and her family got to come for the long awaited visit. I am sure there is never a lack of something to keep visitors busy. Sounds like you are feeling better also.
May 7, 2013 11:00 am
Thomas is exceedingly funny. however, I ditched him this morning in the back pasture because he is intent on eating my fingers and toes. He's relentless! I do feel better. In between storms I feel great! I'm lookin forward to summer
May 7, 2013 4:38 pm
Another wonderful blog. I read every single one and am more in love with you every time! What a life and so glad that your injection seems to be helping.. and your escapades with the turkey and the dogs.. simply amazing. I love the pictures too. Can you post your other blog with the video? I'd like to visit for sure.
May 7, 2013 5:42 pm is my regular blog site and also these two and
May 8, 2013 9:05 am
Wow what a nice blog, your life sounds full and busy. Glad you are feeling better.
May 8, 2013 9:30 am
My Mom and I both read the adventures of Mr. Turkey, the dogs, and yourself and family with GREAT interest and REALLY enjoyed Peeping Thomas's antics!! Some screaming pink garden gloves may be the solution to his fascination with your extremities!! :-) We both had a good giggle imagining his royal feathered self sliiiiiding down the window so many times!!! And the sight of him peering in the back window at you coming out of the bathroom must have been quite a shock, SUCH a comedian!!! :-) Hope you have a wonderfully productive summer, and lots more stories to tell about your resident giggle factory! tootles, Della :-) PS~apologies for the long windedness.
May 8, 2013 4:15 pm
Thanks JoeyJoan, and Della. I appreciate your taking the time 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!
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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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