Self Care: Dog, Yarn, and Cow Edition

Hear ye, hear ye! I’m taking today off. I am not doing regular work, volunteer work, or family stuff. I’m having a self care day!

I even gave the Bitmoji new glasses and shirt.

Much of my day will be spent looking at these guys.

A symphony in earth tones.

Or this guy.

It’s my scarred-up white haid!

Vlassic is out visiting Jim again so no picture, but I got all emotional about losing him last night and got all weepy. Harvey immediately ran to my side and started licking me. Then Penney came. Vlassic licked me, too. That was the first time I really cried in ages. I don’t think it was actually about Vlassic, but about losing all my lost loved ones.

So that made me decide to take the day off. The rest of the family went on a trip, so it’s just me and Lee until dinner, which will be pizza with the Sunday dinner gang. I’m gonna take a bath and do my hair, read, and knit! Yes, knit!

Yarn from Blue Mule, near Round Top.

It’s going to be a cowl you can also wear like a shawl someday. It’s called Nomad. It’s on Ravelry.

It’s not too hard, not too easy.

The most strenuous thing I’ve done today is go look at the chickens and the young cows who are currently behind the house. They just love the chickens and the dogs.

Y’all don’t scare us.

They are such friendly young ladies. I think they were the first ones born here after the pink mamas showed up. They are all named 18. Or they’re new. I don’t know. I just enjoy how friendly they are.

Got any food?

I enjoyed taking some portraits, and hope you like them, too.

I hope your day is peaceful, or that it’s fun, whichever you need. How are you doing self care today?

I’m just gonna snooze.

Loitering Livestock

I also saw the greater yellowlegs pair in the pond as I walked to the cattle.

Yesterday I ended up spending a lot of time around the resident cattle, even when intending to hang out with the horses and Fiona. It was all fun, though, and a great reminder of some of the things that are common on a ranch that aren’t common for city folks.

For instance, I was walking toward the end of our main pasture, when I realized that the cattle I was looking at were in FRONT of our gate. Hmm, that would make the dogs happy. I then realized Gary V. was moving some round bales (a type of hay bale) into our hay storage area, and they had followed him. He and I shooed the curious ladies and their offspring back to the correct side of the gate. No doubt they were sad, since we have oats growing in our pasture for them to eat later.

We would like to eat your oats, please.

The cows kept coming toward the gate, so I stayed until Gary was finished, and closed the gate behind him. That wasn’t the last surprise these particular cattle would give us!

Horses and Cattle

I made it to the horse area, where Sara and I warmed the horses up, then saddled up for a ride. I practiced not using my reins, in preparation for using a bit with Apache. I used a stick to direct him. It went well until he got tired of it and marched off to where he wanted to go. Once that was dealt with, we toodled down the race (long fenced path to the far pasture) so we could ride around in the bottom (the beautiful area that floods in bad weather).

Hello! We are the welcoming committee!

When we got to the gate, there were four perfectly charming calves looking at us. They thought we were fascinating, and had no intentions of moving away from us. Sara got off Spice and did her best to encourage them to go back to their mamas, but they just walked off a little way. I guess it was Curious Cow Day. When we got through the gate, they kept coming up to investigate the strange creatures (us). We would move them a little, then they’d come back. Finally we left them (one was still there when we got back).

I had a lot of fun exploring the creek.

We rode all over, and checked how the place where the stream meets the creek looks. There is a much larger piece of creek with water in it, but the recent rains were not enough to get Walker’s Creek flowing, so the stream is just making a nice pond.

This is Happy Spice.

By the time we got back, the horses were happy to be set free in the small corral. Spice ran and ran and then dropped to roll. Apache waited a bit, then also did a bit of a roll. That had to feel good.

I’m done rolling and want to chase Fiona now.

And Later…

Nicole and Easton visited (they are moving nearby in Temple soon) in the evening, and they wanted to see the horses, so we all walked back to the corral. On the way, we noticed a cow laying like she was dead. We decided she was in labor.

And there was a phoebe calling like crazy and eating little butterflies. It’s their job.

On the way back, after a chat with Ralph and saving poor Vlassic from a bunch of dogs, we saw the cow was standing. Did she have a baby or was that a salt block? We had to stand there and watch until the “salt block” wiggled. We have a new calf to look cute in the front pasture!

Wait, what’s the mama eating? Eww. Afterbirth. Ranch life. It’s sure real.

Where Does Our Stream Go? Mystery Solved!

I don’t usually do more than one post in a day, but Suna the Master Naturalist is all excited about something! I have an unexpectedly free and non-rainy day, so I decided to take the dogs on a walk through the woods, our favorite pastime (as you might notice).

Today my goal was to figure out why our stream and its springs are flowing away, but Walker’s Creek is dry as a bone where County Road 140 goes over it. I also wanted to see what I’d find along the creek bed.

So, the dogs and I walked through the woods by the house and inspected all the recently fallen limbs. There were lots of mushrooms, as you can see above.

I found it, Mommy!
Continue reading “Where Does Our Stream Go? Mystery Solved!”

It’s Just Not Vlassic’s Week

I feel sad for my little black buddy Vlassic right now. It was bad enough that he ate foam rubber and it came back out on both ends. But no, it has not ended there.

I’m safe out here with Alfred.

Yesterday, Lee left for the office around noon, as usual. He shut the door to the upstairs like he usually does, so that certain white dogs (Carlton) can’t find his shoes or random foam rubber cushions and gnaw away at them. Unfortunately, Vlassic was still up there, snuggled under the covers.

He ended up being there until Kathleen and I came home from dinner. Poor boy! As you can imagine, his still-delicate digestive system did not make it through that time. I’m relieved (pun intended) that he chose to “go” on one of my Jacob-sheep rugs rather than furniture (thought I’d have preferred the tile in the bathroom).

Note that I’m outside and the other dogs are IN.

Of course, I didn’t know that until I went into the closet this morning. Before that, Vlassic had his morning slumber RUDELY interrupted by good old Penney, who’d been behaving fine for the past month or so. Vlassic was right next to me, and Penney decided that’s where SHE wanted to be (she’d been fine there earlier, when Vlassic was between my legs). They exploded into a ball of frenzied dog action, right on ME (I did get a cut on my hand, but not worthy of photography).

I’ll just stay out here, thanks. Glad it stopped raining.

Vlassic ran off screaming, and spend the next few minutes yipping and trembling. But, he is not hurt. A lot of drama for no hurt except to me!

Mmm. Appetizing.

I did not enjoy having to clean all the pee and poop off my lovely sheepskin this morning. That thing sure gets heavy when wet. But, once it dries and I go shake off the rest of the dirt, it will look way better. Maybe I should wash the other one? I think yes.

The other one. It’s so cute.

By the Way

Yesterday I wrote about issues with restaurants and other businesses in our small town. I got the good news (right after I posted) that the Bush’s Chicken will re-open soon! The Sonic now has a for-sale sign, so all the people who have ideas for what to do with it can fight each other off to make the dreams come true.

I vote for coffee shop, so I can pick it up on my way into the office.

The Yuck Side of Dog Ownership (and more)

The dog part is coming, honest.

How Am I Eating?

I’m trying really hard not to get immersed in the news, so I’m filling my mind with more important things, like, um, good nutrition! Yes! I try to cook a meal for Anita at least once a week, since she’s not a “cooker.” Last night I found some non-wheat pasta with quinoa, corn, and chickpea flour. I cooked it. I combined an organic tomato sauce with black beans and some kind of re-constituted Chinese mushrooms (labeled “fungus” on the package).

It looks festive with some pumpkin seeds on top.

Does that sound weird? Yes. But it was good. The pasta does not pass for beautiful semolina pasta, but it has a reasonable texture and should make my triglycerides happy.

Continue reading “The Yuck Side of Dog Ownership (and more)”

Doggie Doo, Oh Poo

Oh, look. Here’s my dog, Vlassic, sound asleep in his doggy bed. Isn’t that sweet? Look at how he is not wriggling, squirming, or digging his nails into anything. What a great dog.

As an added bonus, there isn’t dried up cow dung all over his collar, either. Mmm, that was fun to clean off. I can see why it becomes a building material. It dries to a rock hardness. A stinky rock hardness.

What Did He Doo?

Well, back at the ranch bedroom, there used to be an odd square of foam rubber that once dwelt inside a pillow. Lee was using it to make his inordinately complex nest that he sleeps on in his automatic recliner/man cocoon.

Monday evening, I came into the room, exhausted from my day of hospital hijinks, to discover many, many pieces of foam rubber strewn quite gaily around the place. A dog or dogs had gotten into the bedroom and run amock. You see, we leave the door open when Vlassic’s home, so he can hide in the bed from Penney (even though they get along now, he still won’t go downstairs and sit in our laps).

I don’t feel so good, Mom.

We cleaned the mess up. Lee will learn to put covers on pillows. The end?

Nope. Yesterday, when I drove back to Austin, I noticed Vlassic was turning around a lot in his seat, rather than sleeping. When I sat to relax from all my errands and phone calls, he wiggled a lot, then asked to go out. He usually doesn’t do that.

He ran to his usual “spot,” and then (you guessed it), began expelling not only poop, but good-sized pieces of foam rubber. That was different. At least I could see that it easily passed through him and didn’t cause a blockage. Whew.

Then we went to sleep. No, then we went to BED. The entire night, Vlassic tossed, turned, poked his feet into various parts of me, licked things, made little noises, etc. Finally, just before 6 am he went to the door and asked to go out. Off I went in my pajamas. Good thing no one (not even the deer and armadillos) was around to enjoy the spectacle of more foam-filled dog products.

When we got back, he squirmed until ten minutes before my alarm went off. GRR.

Just let me sleep it off, please.

As you might imagine, I did not have a good sleep report when I woke up.

But, that’s what we do for our loved ones we care for, right? We sacrifice because we love them, and when they make a mistake, we help them get through it. It was a good lesson for me to remember when I awoke to realize it’s been exactly a year since my son ghosted me. I love my children unconditionally, too.

Who Wants Dog News?

Of course, YOU want dog news (especially if you are Don L., the dogs’ biggest fan).

The three Cameron house dogs do just fine together. Wow, the bedroom is a wreck (it has been cleaned and the bed made since then.)

I’m here to share that the battle between Vlassic and Penney is finally settling down. We haven’t had even the slightest grr sound from either of them in a few weeks now.

They run and play outside like the best of buddies, and last week BOTH of them sat on the same bench with me for at least five minutes. That warmed my heart.

Play with me!

Both have been managing to sleep in the same bed, as long as they aren’t touching each other, too. But what really warmed my heart was to see the two of them playing with each other in the bed. They were pawing, licking, and tussling in a most friendly way, much to my relief.

We have called a truce!

The only thing that’s left will be for Penney to allow Vlassic to spend time in the family room sitting on my lap, which is what he really loves to do when I’m at the Austin house, and what he used to do in Cameron before Penney came along.

Speaking of Penney

If you want a dog very much like her, Penney’s sister is at the Cameron Dog Pound, just looking for a forever family. She’s got a curlier tail but is just as soft and sweet as Penney.

Also, Sandy has a browner nose then Penney. They were from a litter of TEN, which explains why I met another sister of hers last November!

Sandy’s a cute red dog, not too big, not too small.