Thankfully - Home on the Range Blog at - 311528

Home on the Range

Sep. 25, 2013 2:43 pm 
Updated: Sep. 27, 2013 2:59 pm

So much to be thankful for.

My sons. I have memories of them growing up that never fail to make my heart swell. I laugh recalling their antics and when I close my eyes, I can sometimes still feel the soft little hands on my face and arms around my neck as I hugged them tightly and hearing them speak my favorite name in the world, “Mama”. Nothing can take that away. Now, when I lay eyes on them, I am breathless at the amazing men they have become both as husbands and fathers. I am pleased and proud, even though my heart often feels it will break because I miss them so very much. 

There are our daughters and daughters-in-law, raising their own broods of little ones, navigating life’s waters with an eye to the future and the kind of people they are molding their own children to become, learning to balance life between being mother, wife, friend and career woman, giving their all to each endeavor. I remember well those days.

Then there is unrelated family. That is, those who we love and love us back as if we were family. Sometimes it’s hard to believe I have not known them all my life.

This includes our ranch family. People we are blessed beyond belief to know and share life with.

Things have been so hectic here recently, I have had NO time to blog. Cleaning out cabins and houses for both visitors and new ranch family members. Moving stuff in, moving stuff out. The ranch is putting in pivots and much needs to be done, keeping Randyman hopping. Some of our little people came to visit and their dad worked hard taking down a mile of fencing among other things, helping out, while 9/10’s of the ranch crew was out fighting fire. It was a blast to have them here and it already seems like they have been gone too long.

A new family moved in to fill the cowboss position opened by our nephew leaving, a sad event in itself. I didn’t see him much, as he was always working and I have been sick the past couple of years, but it was comforting to just know he was here. On the bright side, Randyman’s mom, sister, daughter and newest grandson came up for a long weekend to help him get moved. It was bittersweet. A few tears were shed as goodbyes were offered.

An old friend is moving in with us, to help me on those not-so-swell-days, so everything stored in our back bedroom needs to find a new home. New shelves had to be built and there is much going on. 

The rocketcar people are coming back and there are supposed to be 42 of them staying at the ranch in various situations....cabins, tents, motorhomes. I think there has been more activity and more people here lately than I ever saw in the city. It's fun and exciting but I am also looking forward to the quietness of winter again, when things are not quite so hectic.

My sons and their families are due next weekend so I am excitedly making plans and figuring out strategy of how to get things done and still have time to enjoy them. If I can do the food planning ahead of time we will have a little better chance to do some fun stuff. One set will be hunting all week, the other will have but a day to see their way around. I'll be trying to fit a weeks worth of stuff into just a few hours that day.

I personally, am in a period of transition and also one of great expectation. My mind and body can’t quite keep up and grasp it all, hence no blogging. A great percentage of the time, my mind has been pretty much a blank. Trying to settle into a 'new normal' has proved to be a little more challenging than I had expected.

The ranch kids have gone off to college, all but the boys. I sent them along with 'care packages' of home canned soups and meats as well as sending some along with one of our daughters, which has left our own shelves kind of bare. I got some beef chunks canned this morning in the new All American Canner (which I LOVE). In a couple of weeks I will begin to restock the rest of the shelves with soups and stews and more sandwich and dinner meats. Unfortunately, our cold summer kept my tomatoes from ever ripening or even getting close, so there won't be any bruschetta, BBQ sauce or any of the other goodies I had hoped and planned to put up.

Beyond that, two amazing cheesecakes are in the freezer, a special salad is marinating, turkeys are defrosting and plans are in the works to get yams and stuffing made before Saturday so I can just stuff the bird, bake the breads and heat everything else up. It is the first time in 8 years the whole family has been able to get together so I am celebrating with a very early Thanksgiving Dinner. Bread cubes from the last loaf of homemade bread are drying in the oven and will be seasoned tonite, after we eat homemade pizza. There were just enough basil leaves left for me to make pesto for the sauce on one of them.

More good news, EmmaLou is about 3 months pregnant, per the vet and SushiMoo is big enough to be bred, whenever we can get her to a bull or a bull to her. The Polarbears are diligently protecting the sheep from what sounds like record numbers of coyotes. One night they woke me up, the howling was so loud and pitched. I went out with a flash light and the hair stood up on the back of my neck as I listened to large packs in three different directions around me. I was concerned for the dogs, that they may have become separated, attacked and overwhelmed. But they returned in the morning, as usual, unharmed and the coyotes seem to have moved on as its been pretty quiet lately.

I've managed a couple of rides with my friend which makes all the difference, not having to ride alone. Even though I am getting on and off to open and close gates, it helps tremendously for her to be there to block Mister when necessary from stepping away while I balance precariously on rocks, stumps or next to ditches to remount.

It's all good.

Sep. 25, 2013 2:55 pm
Thanks for taking us into your day-to-day life, which sounds amazing to me. You are blessed.
Sep. 25, 2013 4:12 pm
Yes, petey, good friends help one stay balanced and help to one see pitfalls. As far as a "new normal" is concerned, I'm beginning to think change is the only constant--normal is just a dream!
Sep. 25, 2013 4:13 pm
" one see..." (Where's the edit button?)
Sep. 25, 2013 5:58 pm
Our amazing Petey!! Thanks for putting effort and time into your blog. Once again, I feel transported..
Sep. 25, 2013 6:03 pm
It is so glad to hear from you. I was just wondering about you over the weekend. I love reading your blogs. I agree with Bibi, the only constant is change. So glad you will have your friend there to help you out when needed. Have fun with your family!
Sep. 26, 2013 9:05 am
PETEY! So great to see you and your blog. I must admit it moved me to tears (happy ones) as I sit here at work at lunch and I read about soft little hands and "mama" Thank You for reminding me to slow down some. My wee ones are growing so fast and although I must miss some occusions moments to work I need to do a better job being present in the ones I dont. Just this morning as I was leaving for work and everyone was sleeping I was upset thinking to myself how my house looked and how much laundry I have to do! I even threw myself a little pity party in the below "whats for dinner" thread. Truly that doesnt matter right now and I just have to keep a grasp on that! Thanks and glad to see you! Stay well!
Sep. 26, 2013 12:19 pm
I'm happy to read that you are still getting around. I'm sure having your friend help so much will extend your "good days" even longer. I am amazed at all you accomplish! Have fun with the early Thanksgiving and let us know how it goes afterwards, please. I think about you a lot - You are such an inspiration!
Sep. 26, 2013 12:21 pm
PS - you take such beautiful pictures, too! And your gate is so pretty! What don't you do????(lol)
Sep. 26, 2013 12:41 pm
Oh! God bless you ALL! I've been madly putting food together and baking breads and hamburger buns and making stuffing (yes, from scratch) etc. etc. so I haven't been online checking comments. You guys are the best! Heather, they do grow up SO fast! I am glad you are one of the mom's who can filter thru the priorities now and then. I found that now the kids have grown and left, the laundry is still there, the dust is still on the tables and the dishes still fill the sink, I didn't miss out on a thing by neglecting them when I did! LOL
Sep. 26, 2013 2:16 pm
rock on petey! have a great early bird day with the family! and do try and relax some gal, you wear me out just reading the things you are able to accomplish. and of course, your pictures ( as always) are amazing!
Sep. 26, 2013 5:40 pm
Thanks Gderr! I still had some pecans left from some nice folks in GA and used them in the Butterbrickle Carmel Pecan cheesecakes. Dang those things are good!!
Sep. 26, 2013 5:53 pm
hopefully, this will be a good year. we had floods of rain this year, but this year we should be breaking branches with pecans. pecan trees produce great bounty really only every 2 years. wife is on a no mention of cheesecake :)
Sep. 26, 2013 9:26 pm
Petey wonderful as always. Your photos are lovely, and the baby looks to be a darling. I am happy for you that your friend is coming to help. Enjoy your family and take good care of yourself.
Sep. 27, 2013 9:45 am
OH Petey, I am exhausted just reading your blog. You so amaze me at all you do and with all your physical problems. The gate picture is just awesome. As I have mentioned before I retired on June 18th to care for my husband. I don't know how I managed to work an 8 hrs day and then do all that I did. My days are full still with not much time to spare. I still am not finding time to do as much cooking as I thought I would. I have the two great grandaughters age 4 and 12. Now that school has started they keep me hopping.Enjoy that early Thanksgiving. It will truly be a Thanksgiving for you. Having all your family there to enjoy it no matter when you celebrate. I pray that your good days are many.
Sep. 27, 2013 1:53 pm
So glad to hear from you. I was a little worried. I always enjoy your blogs and pictures. You are an amazing lady. The fence picture was beautiful. Hope that you continue to do better at times. Glad the dogs weren't hurt by the wolves. I love hearing about smart...I'll be thinking of you until your next blog.. Enjoy your family. Families are such a blessing.
Sep. 27, 2013 2:59 pm
Oh my goodness that baby needs lots of smooching and your first picture with the flowers gorgeouse. I hope you have a wonderful time. What a wonderful home you have. You really are blessed. So many people would love to have what you have!
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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.
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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