I really should pay more attention to real life and not fret so when I don't get the blog updated. I really don't worry much, it's the random person I see that comments about my lack of new posts. Since I haven't a clue as to who most of these people are, I think it best to update once in awhile lest they start showing up at the ranch wanting to know what's new. Much better to allow them to stalk me via blogspot. I flatter myself, I don't have stalkers.
Anyway...here's what's been happening.---
We harvested the last batch of summer broilers in early September. We processed 94 birds and chatted a lot. I always look forward to chicken pluckin' day. I get the same feeling when it comes to butchering chickens as I did when I received an invite some a classmate's birthday party in elementary school. Ridiculous I know. It's really a good day for me. I don't find it gross, I look forward to seeing my friend Gerri and Neighbor Brenda. I look forward to bickering with Shelly about where equipment should be placed and her lack of organization. Even though I have no desire to have a roast chicken the day of processing, I let chicken recipes pinball around my brain the whole time. I do realize that the chickens don't get the same thrill. I try to make their short life up to that point enjoyable and happy. I truly can not understand why people wrinkle their nose at me when I invite them over on chicken pluckin' day.
This last plucking party consisted of Gerri throwing a handful of intestinal tract at me for taking pictures of her, Bad Penny Puppy waiting patiently by the gut bucket for a misplacement of a head or something else yummy, and Brenda's scrumptious cinnamon rolls with a big ole glass of raw milk when it was all over.
This September also marked the fourth anniversary of both my grandmother's and my father's death. Gramma Dague left us on the 3rd of September in 2007 and my Pop just a few weeks later on September 19th. I miss them both more than I can every measure. It's odd what reminds me of them both.
During our annual garage sale at the fire station I glanced at an orange coffee cup and suddenly my grandmother was in my head. I remembered her shuffling about the kitchen early in the morning, writing letters to her family in South Dakota. I wonder if she were still around if she'd continue to write on stationary or be an email-aholic like I am. I think of her every time I see a heel of white bread. She use to put the heels in with the chocolate chip and raisin cookies that filled the large Tupperware containers at the bottom of the pantry cabinet. I remember being special to Gramma even though I was one of many, many grandchildren. I think everyone of my cousins feels exactly the same way.
And Pop...I miss him everyday. I think he would be really into my chicken pluckin' parties. I know he'd making a few trips to the ranch to milk the cows. I would get to hear all those, "When I was your age..." stories about his own childhood and milking chores. Whenever I'm feeling down or having a bad day something will happen to remind me that he's always around. Lately it's been through songs. I have been hearing a lot of Mac Davis singing, "Oh Lord it's Hard to be Humble" and Johnny Russell's, "Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer." Right now his cousins, his brother Lonnie and others are preparing for the annual pheasant hunting trip to South Dakota. I know that Pop can't wait to see them all. His ashes are circling in the wind out there.
We've had other momentous occasions on the ranch too. Both my Jersey cows ended up NOT pregnant, despite claims to the contrary by the vet. Oh well, I've borrowed a mini-Jersey bull to rectify the situation. Napoleon is visiting and wooing both Jersey Girl and Jenny. He's very sweet through the fence and I've overheard both girls commenting about his handsome face complete with nose ring. Nappy is so hip!
Brownie Cow finally calved in September too. Unfortunately we lost her heifer calf at 13 days old to a intestinal bacterial infection. Such is life on the ranch. Even though losing the calf is sad event, I'm still thankful that Brownie Cow has a full udder and is more than willing to stand while I milk her.
The Kiddo is busy as ever. She's accumulating rebuttals in an effort to evade any and all chores. Need a reason for anything? She's many to spare. Shelly and I attended the latest field trip with her awesome little school to a local wolf rescue. I learned a lot, not sure the kid did.
She seems so absent minded of late. I often kid around about the flux of hormones in our household. It really is no laughing matter. Shelly is swirling around the drain of her 'normal' hormonal cycling readying herself to enter the wonderment of menopause. Then of course there is Jolene. She's machete chopping herself to the doorway of puberty with gusto. I'm stuck in the middle, being the sane one with monthly gut aches from endometriosis. I wouldn't advise dropping by for a visit without staking out the hormone levels first.
I'll leave you with the following picture. It adequately represents what September was like for me....a BLUR. It's really a bad picture of Jolene playing with the two Great Danes, one Coonhound and the Virus Dog! Here's to an outstanding October.