All around the ranch there are signs that Spring is just around the corner. The daffodils yellow heads nodding in the shadow of the big cedar barn, snowdrops clustered under a budding Maple tree and clumps of vibrant bluebells are liberally scattered all around the barn. Young Maybelline Grace the Jersey heifer watches the world pass by from under the blossoming plum tree and in the barnyard, the rapidly growing lambs are getting more curious and more rambunctious by the day. On the pond, the Canada Geese have reclaimed their nest on the island and high above the Ranch, the storm clouds gather....Our thanks to Lani and Mikayla, young farm friends who's visits have given us even more reason to smile. Take care, keep safe, M
It has been quite a week....it wasn't quite a hurricane that caused the power cut that caused the surge.. that caused the modem to blow which subsequently caused us to go offline...(which incidentally nearly blew my mind !) It wasn't a blizzard, our local friendly smiling weather forecasters happily advised us it was going to be a dry day so fluffy snow flakes at 9am were a little bit of a surprise.....by 9pm, with our little world covered in a pristine coat of not very dry snow and the temperature down to 29 degrees C we were less than amused. I will remind myself to remember this week when we are complaining about the obsessive heat in the Summer....
Scruffy and Scrappy our two little "orphan" lambs have "got with the programme and the growl of the big Chevi truck arriving in the barnyard is the signal for the eternally hungry twosome to raise the barn roof, loudly anticipating the arrival of two warm bottles of frothy lamb formula. Both lambs are thriving....life is good.
We have a new farm friend, a young neighbour (English spelling) has asked if she can spend some time with our four legged family and we are happy to share. It is a wonderful thing to be able to watch her building her confidence with the horses, loving up beautiful Bella and May, the Jersey cows and spending time with our overly affectionate flock of sheep. Happy to have you on the team Lani.
As always, our thanks to Erin and Jim....love you both.
Take care, keep safe and warm. M
We all grew up with Jack and Jill, Laurel and Hardy and Harry met Sally...introducing When Scruffy met Scrappy. Scrappy came to the Gentle Giant Meadows Ranch lamb nursery from local farming friends. Sadly, his mom, unlike dotard Dottie ( Scruffy's negligent mom) was unable to feed her tiny offspring and Scrappy the hungry, day old little ram lamb arrived yesterday. Scrappy might only be a little guy but there is nothing tiny about his call for dinner and his huge appetite. Little Scruffy the ewe lamb has a new friend. Scrappy the ram lamb and Scruffy the ewe lamb are bound and determined they will not be ignored and the walls of the big cedar barn echo with the impassioned bleating of two permanently hungry orphans.
As I write, a new baby grandson is preparing to be born...We wish your little family health and happiness Dean and Carly. Looking forward to the first pictures of Gabriella and Hudson's new little brother. Life is good,
Take care, keep safe, M
No one ever said sheep were smart...in fact, along with common perception, I have always thought they are eating machines with a mob mentality and very little sense. Dotty the big Oxford ewe blew even that definition yesterday....Dotty is clearly in a class of her own..STUPID !!. Two days ago we found Dotty, the proud and possessive mom of a little gangly legged, knocked kneed little ewe lamb. All was well until yesterday when the doting Dotty apparently suffered maternal amnesia and ran around the sheep pen calling out for her lamb. Said little waif was following mom around bleating for attention and access to the milky bar whilst Dotty checked out every other unrelated lamb in the pen. This morning, after witnessing Dotty push the lamb away we have assumed parental control..Dotty has re assumed her very close relationship with food and forgotten she is a mom. Meet Scruffy...the little lamb who just wanted to be loved (oh, and fed) All in a days work..you never know what each day is going to bring..AND I escaped house arrest today. Take care, keep safe, M
Still snuffling snorting and wheezing but the "horse pills" I was prescribed are helping to return me to the land of the living. My doctor put me on "house arrest" for at least 3 days and parole may start on Saturday when I am hoping to get down to the barn again.Thank you all for the messages of concern, I am feeling better. Thank you Greg for taking such good care of me..I know I'm not the easiest patient !
Down at the barn, life continued without me ; our heartfelt thanks to Erin and Jim who have picked up my chores and helped keep Greg under control (allegedly) in my absence.
The brat pack (lambs) are becoming more rowdy daily and clearly their fraught mums are becoming more and more frustrated with their disobedient offspring. Last night their number increased....big Dotty gave birth to a little ewe lamb that was found sleeping next to her mum this morning. Five little lambs can cause chaos in the sheep pen...six will likely cause mayhem.It is going to be a fun Spring. Take care, keep safe, M
Cup Cake had a healthy little ram lamb we have called Rascal. The day that the first few moments of a new life lose their wonder is the day that I will know that I should no longer be a farmer. To watch the ewe's stoic suffering through her contractions, her gentle welcome to her tiny offspring and the instinctive drive that sends her new born to her swollen udder will never lose it's magic. Love this life. M
Someone's dreams came true today. The sky was grey, there was no rain but a gentle breeze raised the lazy flags in the barn yard. In the workshop, Greg and Jim held their breath....Dee Dee, the wooden boat Jim has built from scratch over the past year was about to fly. Inspired by the movie "UP", Jim's flying boat weighs about 5lb and by Greg's calculations required 73 cubic feet of helium. One balloon wouldn't inflate and Dee Dee merely teetered on the table. A black garbage bag was substituted and Jim's face broke into a precious smile...Dee Dee flew. Dee Dee flew just as he knew she would, just as he had imagined so many months ago. I don't know who smiled more, Greg because he made Jim's dream come true, Jim because he knew that dreams can come true or Erin, Jim's Mom....just because......DREAMS CAN COME TRUE, just believe. M xxx
Three weeks ago, our most recent "farm Friends" arrived. It has to be said....there were more backpacks than we have EVER seen before. It has to be said...the Subaru that all the backpacks emanated from, was possibly THE most tolerant vehicle that ever traversed the freeway and It also has to be said, Nicole and Barrett were I think happy to have a settled home, off the road, for 3 weeks.
During those three weeks, I'm sure 7.30 am came far too quickly, there was way more poo in the cow pen than ANYONE could have imagined in one night and how on earth could those sheep have generated that much manure !!! How did a horse get as big as Quest and how can a horse get as muddy as Chelsey ? During those three weeks we taught our new Ranch family that farming is not a 9am to 5pm job, our horses and livestock govern our working day. We taught Nicole and Barrett that we love and respect our animals and I believe they got to love and respect them too. They got to drive the tractor, use chainsaws, power tools, helped with lambing, a little taste of fencing and carpentry...
Three weeks are over and our intrepid two some are starting a new life in the Pacific north West. We wish them success in their new venture and feel sure that they left the ranch with many new memories and they will have many experiences together in the years ahead. Good luck Nicole and Barrett, Thank you for sharing your time with us. Please keep in touch.
Love, your Ranch Family.
January 19, 2018
Two on the bed for Flossy. Good for her. Now you know why we don't play the lottery. Our money was on Dotty!
January 14, 2018
I guess I must be a REAL horse person....the day is over....horses mucked out, livestock in, took Nichole through the woods for a ride on Charm (aka beauty with lots of attitude, and there WAS lots of attitude !!!! (neighbors children were going to attack him from the rope swing in the pasture). Back up to the house now and I can finally take my boots off......OUCH. Think I deserve a little glass of some "pain killer", washing done, dried and folded, dinner prepared. Today, I think I am a hero. Why??? Yesterday, I did the Shire Horse foot stomp. Not good for the foot. Raspberry wine. Obviously good for medicinal purposes! OUCH!!!
Its me, Maureen, (the Boss)