It's time to load the Advent Calendar! Ammunition laid out and counted. Chambers made ready... Loaded... Cocked... Waiting for December 1! Christmas season has started. Maureen has the cards out, address book open, glass of wine in hand and holiday music playing and ... Greg washing the day's eggs. Great evening.
Little Mr. Luke is looking especially pitiful tonight. The bedraggled little black and white "wanna be" Australian Shepherd, with wisps of hay hanging from the constantly wagging bob ( where his tail really aught to be) has been searching for his new friend. Wistfully he waited at the head of the stairs, mournfully lay under the table and has apparently, finally, sadly accepted that Amin, the stranger who arrived with suitcases and a shy smile has gone.
It isn't only little Luke who will miss Nara and Amin here on the Ranch. Miss Mariah, the ageing Friesian mare has clearly enjoyed being pampered and preened by our Ranch guests. Charm the golden palomino knew that there would always be a kind word and an apple morsel or three when our honeymoon couple happened to pass his stall. Chelsey the little grey mare grew accustomed to anticipating attention with her head hanging over her door, ears pricked and dark eyes following them through the barn and little Tiger the ginger cat was never very far away from the strangers who never failed to acknowledge his gracious feline presence. Greg and I are going to miss them too. Over the past 18 days, Nara and Amin have unfailingly appeared in the Ranch kitchen before the cuckoo clock signaled 7.30am and courageously faced the wind, rain and frigid temperatures of a Pacific Northwest November, without complaint and always a ready smile. They have excavated ditches, waded through sticky mud, dug holes (but didn't fill them in !!) laid drains, got soaked, filthy dirty and freezing cold and still they smiled. They learnt to use a chainsaw, drive the tractor and operate the sawmill...they have cleaned the cow pen, mucked out the sheep barn, loved up Bella the beautiful Jersey cow and become comfortable with the nail gun, hammers, wrenches and saws.
Our friends from Saudi Arabia are their country's best ambassadors, everyone that met them was impressed by their kindness, courtesy and honesty. We feel fortunate to have been able to get a better understanding of their culture and in exchange, share ours. Thank you Nara and Amin, enjoy the remainder of your honeymoon...we love you both. We won't say goodbye..aurevoir ( until we see you again). Take care, keep safe M
If Mum J isn't happy...ain't no one happy......isn't that the truth !! No pressure Mum J ... really ???
At a time when all eyes, ears and minds are on Paris, we have watched the CNN coverage with sadness and disbelief. We live in a world where life is taken indiscriminately and suspicion and fear of cultural differences has become a daily occurrence. Our thoughts today have been overwhelmed by the senseless violence in a City geographically thousands of miles away...but emotionally so close. Our prayers are with you, citizens of Paris.
Here on the ranch, I believe we are experiencing a revival of the Biblical flood ! The creeks are breaching their banks, the pond is close to overflowing and the pastures, starved so long of moisture are under water. The rain falls incessantly, everything is sodden, horses, sheep cows, chickens....us, soaked. But, as the gutters drip, the puddles fill and the ranch road washes away, we count our many blessings. Nara and Amin, residents of Saudi Arabia and newly married have chosen to spend part of their honeymoon down home on the ranch with us. Nara became a much loved member of our extended global family several years ago and we were happy and excited to welcome her and her husband back to the ranch this week. Sadly, ranch activities have been curtailed by the deluge of Biblical proportions but the enthusiasm of our new ranch hands does not reflect the potential climatic disaster ! Nara and Amin have embraced our love for the horses, pampered Bran the Border collie, loved up little Luke the "wanna be" ranch dog and politely chastised the aggressive chickens in the hen house. As the rain falls, as puddles fill and the grey clouds skitter across the sky, we thank God that he gave us the opportunity to get to meet and love these wonderful young people. If love was counted in international currency and experiences were worth a dollar, we would be multi millionaires right now.
Take care, keep your hearts open and remember friendship is only a heartbeat away. M
November 6th 2015, in the pastures, the grass is still growing, the dandelions are still flowering and a watery filtered sun still warms the earth. Passing through the farm gates in the big rumbling Chevi truck, my eye was caught by the frenzied activity of a bumble bee nectar diving, flitting from one purple snap dragon blossom to another, it's black and yellow abdomen peeping out from the depths of the lush pollen filled petals, belatedly storing up for the bleak Winter months. In the garden, the rosebuds are still appearing on bushes already seasonally pruned and crocus and hyacinth are making an unseasonably premature appearance. The Gentle Giant Meadows Ranch chicken flock have to date ignored any pre ordained instinct to molt and take their Winter vacation, nest boxes are fully occupied by red, white and black birds intent on producing multiple deep brown, white and beige eggs.
Age appears to have caught up with Bran our black and White Border Collie. Each morning, rain or shine, he consistently appears at the gate to the sheep barn, tail wagging and eager to chase the Barney and his woolly ladies out into the pasture. He waits anxiously to clamber up onto the hood of the four wheeler, still anticipates our movements and faithfully supervises any activity at the ranch gate but the old boys eyes are growing dim and when he isn't racing around, there is the distinct old man limp of an arthritic body. An old lady once told me...."these golden years 'aint what they are cracked up to be"...Bran, Greg and I can second that !!!
Mr. Cooper the senior bay gelding has found a new purpose in life. Previously just happy to have the company of his sheep and cow pasture mates, he has now adopted the role of pasture police. As the head collar is slipped off his big bay head, after his graying muzzle has checked out the availability of the last apple morsel and he has meandered off down Cow Lane, Mr. Cooper becomes the intolerant guardian of the hay feeder. Bella the beautiful Jersey cow and Sirloin the little red Dexter know only too well that they don't challenge Cooper as he blocks access to Cow Lane, the flock of sheep take one look at the big bay and scatter. Mr. Cooper reigns supreme as unofficial tyrant of the hay feeder, respected and feared by all. Who says size doesn't matter ?
Also need to wish Erin a big Happy Birthday. We won’t forget!!
The cuckoo clock has spoken..the dogs are ready to go out and water a tree or three and Greg is yawning. Must be bedtime. Take care, keep safe and take care of those you love. M
My Almost Daily Diary's extended absence has been noticed. Sharp reminders have appeared on Face book, gentle coaxing has been noted on arriving e mails and friends have cautiously suggested that it was high time the Diary was updated. Technology is a wonderful thing or, sadly an invasive curse. Every day, from all around the world, family, friends and total strangers logged on to the Almost Daily Diary to follow the shenanigans in the lives (two legged and four, fur or feathered) of the ranch. Several hundred visits daily to our ranch website are common but over the past months, surprisingly, occasional days recorded viewers in the thousands. Comments were frequently, garbled, unintelligible computerized messages based on something in the text of the Diary. Easily deleted and whilst a little irritating not a huge problem. What has caused concern is the huge increase of junk e mails generated by the data miners that have found our web site. Whilst e mails can be easily deleted, when they are in the hundreds...important e mails could be and have been overlooked. No "Almost Daily Diary" has seriously reduced the number of junk e mails received and we are trying to resolve the situation. Please bear with us....
As Summer has slowly traversed into Autumn, as Standard time has changed into Daylight Saving time and our sleek equine residents have mutated into woolly bears, the appearance of the pastures, creeks and trees have also changed The grass has returned briefly, pending the first frost, the creeks are overflowing since the heavy rainfall of the past few days and the trees have transformed from leafy green to red orange and gold. The Gentle giant Meadows Ranch formation eating team, aka our little flock of sheep are heavily pregnant and growing more rotund daily ( thank you Barney the ram ).Bella, our beautiful Jersey cow is due to calf in April ( Thank you Wayne.... the man with the straw) and in the hen house, our Red Sexlink chicks are all grown up and producing multiple beautiful dark brown eggs. Life on the ranch is good. Take care, keep safe, M
Its me, Maureen, (the Boss)