Saturday, September 27, 2008

Home Home on the Range

We left our little ranch to visit Travis, Pam and Brenden in Savannah on Wednesday morning (September 17th), and arrived in Savannah in time for dinner on Thursday. We had a REALLY nice visit and really enjoyed getting to know our newest grandson, Brenden, pictured here with his grandpa. Friday they took us to lunch at The Crab Shack on Tybee Island which was a delightful marshy place - just what you'd expect from the name. It was very 'nautical', had exotic birds, LOTS of small alligators (~3 feet long) and lush palm trees and HUGE live oaks with Spanish Moss hanging down - not to mention GREAT seafood. Then on Saturday afternoon, we joined some Savannah based Browns fans downtown to cheer for the Cleveland Browns (but they lost!). Even young Brenden bellied up to the table :) A boyhood friend of Travis' (Kevin) from Cleveland visited and also enjoyed the game - but not the loss!
After a weekend of college and professional football, we headed home to resume duties on 'the ranch'. Right before we left, we discovered fleas on Tober. So upon return, I've washed linens in all her usual sleeping spots, and of course bought some flea shampoo to give Tober a bath! I think the fleas liked it (but Tober didn't!), so I'll give them another shot today!!! Poor Tober!!
It was good to see all the animals doing well, but especially the kitties. I worry about my wandering 6 month olds (Mitzi and Mia) because of all the predators that lurk in the shadows. Then there's Little Kitty and her new babies that were a week old when we left. She moved them to the pet carrier on the side porch while we were gone. All were accounted for! They have their eyes open and have grown appreciably.
Day 6 when we departed (left) and Day 15 when we returned (right).

Wednesday I started day shift on my new temporary (seasonal) job. You remember those school fundraisers? You or your children had the opportunity to sell candy, nuts, candles, kitchen items, or knick knacks to your neighbors and mostly to Mom and Dad, Aunt Mary, the folks at Mom or Dad's office???? Well, the warehouse for all those things is right here in Olney, Texas and it's called Cherrydale Farms! We fill orders for schools and bands all over the USA!! It's a production line arrangement and I'm a 'puller' which means I pull products from the shelves and place in a crate that gets checked and double checked for correctness and then gets packed for delivery. We really hustle to fill these orders. Some lines process 10,000 items in a shift!! My legs are REALLY tired by the end of the day from the constant activity!

Also, Mike is a Substitute Teacher for Olney High School for science and math, and he's been called upon twice so far, bit I suspect he'll be called upon often to share his expertise in these fields! So for now, that is life home on the ranch!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Love is evident EVERYWHERE

How can anyone not love furry little things? Just look at these cute and loving faces!!!!

Momma Kitty LOVES her babies - 4 days old
SWEET at 5 days:
Don't forget me!!!
Sam and HIS kitty (Mia):

But MOST beautiful of all is the love of a mother for her child -

Now don't you dads get your drawers in a bunch!!!! Special attention is upcoming!!! : )

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday X 6

Happy Birthday to all of Kitty's new babies!!! Did you count??? That's how many new babies Little Kitty had sometime in the early morning hours of this stormy night! Like her first litter, these babies were born on the patio table on the front porch, but Mama Kitty did it all by herself this time! I didn't get to play 'midwife'! There must be another male kitty living somewhere in the distant neighborhood, as ALL the kitties this time are either like Kitty (3) or are VERY light (3), almost albino in appearance. They all appear healthy and perfect!

Most of these babies already have loving homes to go to when they grow up a little and once they are weaned! Kitty was first taken in by a couple of hunters that spend weekends about 1/4 mile away, and they will take a kitten back home to the Fort Worth area. Our friends, David and Shirley recently lost their kitty that looked like a male version of our Mama Kitty and was a wonderful companion. They will have 2 of the kittens, and my friend, Pat who I work with every Tuesday morning (as a 'pink lady') will have a kitten. Since I lost 2 kittens at 10 weeks last time, we'll wait and see how many kittens we have when we get to that place in their training! Thus goes the saga of new kittens!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors...

--slightly amended from the famous poet, Robert Frost:

'Why do fences make good neighbors?
Isn't it where there are cows?
But here there are no cows
Before I built a fence I'd ask to know
What I was fencing in or fencing out?'

Here on the ranch, we don't have cattle yet. I often see a neighbor's cow or calf (or bull) roaming outside the fence along side the road. But I never see horses wandering about! Since living here, I have learned that horses can find weak spots in fences when it means finding the grain or greener grass.

Doc says - "Hmmmm... the grass looks greener over there"
Well, yesterday I was watering and gathering produce from my garden when I came across a partially eaten cantaloupe (left) and disheveled vines. I knew I'd had a visitor! Maybe a skunk? My kittens attack the tassels of corn and romp in the vines, but they don't EAT cantaloupe!! After a little more investigation, Mike pointed out a missing section of wire fence on the far side! With that BIG clue, I found hoof prints and horse/donkey piles of 'poop' around the garden, and then I checked the corn! On an earlier escapade they had eaten some of my corn and killed a few plants. This time there were ears to be tasted! I'm lucky if I have 5 corn stalks standing!! Good thing the corn was a loss anyway because of maturing in the heat of August or I'd have been really cross with those horses!!! At least they didn't trample the squash, cucumbers, okra or other melons. Aside from the corn, I lost 3 melons, but there are several others coming along. For a garden that was planted late, we're getting lots of summer squash and okra. Melons are doing well. We're just starting to get cucumbers. The tomatoes have been a bust so far, but as it cools this month, I think we'll be rewarded with lots of tomatoes and peppers. The 'late planted' garden is really paying off!!!

Along another fenceline, Mike found this huge garden spider this morning. I'm not sure what she's consuming, but it's the size of a grasshopper if that gives you an idea of her size. Isn't she a beauty???

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A father's son...

In looking for baby pictures for Travis, I came across pictures of both children (of course) and one particular picture of baby Snakeye triggered a WOW!!! Boy, does that kinda look like Brenden!!!! YOU check it out and weigh in!!! Does Brenden look like his dad?????

(Too bad the quality of print isn't equal, but technology has come a long way!!)

And while we're at it, check out Cheyenne and Riley!
I couldn't find as good a comparison, but you can see that she had a rounder shape to her face. I don't have access to John's baby pictures to make any comparisons, but most people say that Riley looks more like John - though I'm sure he's a combination of both as is little Brenden.