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 ...
A PEEPING TOM!!!!!
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!