Monday, December 29, 2008

Post Christmas Thoughts

Hope you all had a nice Christmas! We had a mild sunny day with kittens lounging in the sunshine, spending a lazy day! The daily highs continue to bounce between the 20's and the high 70's - what to wear varies greatly from day to day!!
As in the days of the birth of the Christ child, for the donkey and steeds, it was a normal December day. We enjoyed calling family. Travis is in or near the holy land, though not free to take in the rich history of the area. With the current political climate of the area, it's hard to remember all what happened there. I notice the temperatures in Bagdad are typically within a few degrees of our own temperatures this time of year. I cannot imagine going out and climbing on our donkey, 9 months pregnant and travelling day and night only to find no room at the inn, and no doctor or midwife waiting to assist. Here in Texas, we can see galaxies and stars by the millions on a clear night, and to imagine one star guiding the way to the newborn King!!!!! Just recounting this situation makes me feel so blessed this Christmas season. Blessed with family and new grandsons who are soon coming to visit!!!

Blessed with children that have direction in this life. Blessed with a spouse who can do most everything, and wears a wonderful smile daily.
Blessed to be among the wonderful people of Olney who I have found to be kind, loving and eager to help when needed. We have our challenges and disappointments like everyone else, but we were never promised a life without them. So, in spite of them, I appreciate my family, friends, our little ranch with its scant livestock and struggling grasses, and especially our pets: Tober (inside mouser), Sam (outside mouser and gatherer of many things), and Kitty and her awesomely sweet kittens (mousers, snake deterrents). All make us smile and sometimes laugh!
With 2009 just around the corner, I wish you'all a New Year with abundant blessings, much love and lots of smiles!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


The one thing about winter in Texas is that we have a few cold days and then it warms up for a couple of days then it plummets back down again. Since the last post, it was down in the 20s for a few days, then it was low 60s one day, 73 for a high the next, then it was 17 degrees this morning and barely hit 30 for a high today!! The horses will hang out in the shed overnight, Sam in his dog house and the kittens and mama kitty will bundle up together in one of the boxes on the front porch. They're all enthusiastic for breakfast come morning and they get a little frisky in the corral to warm up a bit, but for a drink???? Mike has to break up the ice in the horse trough:
We have cold temperatures, but no snow! Doesn't look like we'll have a white Christmas! Speaking of which, our tree is up and looked pretty good a few days ago with gifts underneath, but our new bed and mattress arrived, so all the new linens moved from under the tree to the new bed! So, the best we can do right now is enjoy our Christmas cat! Tober LOVES it under the tree - as you can see, she rearranges branches and likes to play with the balls! Here, she was wishing you a "HO, HO, HO, and a MERRY CHRISTMAS" when I snapped the picture below!!

The new comforter set looks rather western and it feels like suede!! It's also nice and toasty on these cold nights!! In fact, I think I hear it calling to me right now!!!

With Christmas just a few days till the big day, know that we wish you who visit our little ranch blog, a VERY MERRY and BLESSED CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Changes ... changes

December 14th - and it's a week and a half before Christmas, and here in Texas it was 77 degrees outside at 4:30 pm! It was like an early fall day - a BEAUTIFUL SUNNY WARM day. By 5, it had dropped to 75 (no big deal, right?). Then a breeze came along, and soon it was blowing at quite a good clip, so checked the outside temperature, and it was 59! Within 2 hours of the 77 degrees, it was 38!!!! Now, at midnight, it's 28 - soooo, that computes to almost 50 degrees fall since late afternoon!! It dropped so fast, the kittens are all in the cat carrier waiting for a trip to a warmer climate! And poor Eeyore - his HeeHaw is only a Hee, 'cause the Haw froze in his throat! The coyotes must have run for cover too, as it's pretty quiet out there tonight!

On a warmer, fuzzier note, I've noticed some amusing changed behaviors lately. Sam always vies for attention whenever one fusses with the kittens, the horses or Eeyore. He MUST be first!! All of a sudden, he noticed Tober through the living room window, and is totally fascinated with her! His gaze bores into her! He can't avert his stare for fear she should move and he'd lose sight of her! If she comes toward the window, he barks and goes crazy! Yet, he lives with 6 orange cats outside!!!!

Then there's Kibbie, who isn't the least bit interested in the moist cat food! Up until the last week or two, she eats only dry food (kibbles, thus her name, Kibbie). All of a sudden, she's taken up eating Sam's food! She waits with Sam and starts eating while he's going through his commands before being released to eat. And she doesn't move when he starts eating either. I've heard him growl a couple of times, but I think he's given up and claimed her as 'his' kitty!!! Sam's kind of a big pussycat anyway! He frequently shops for mice and rats out in the field just like Kitty! And he plays with them until they won't play anymore!

The equines are creatures of habit also. When we first got Doc and Eeyore, it sometimes took 15 minutes to get them in their respective places to feed them. There's a pecking order!! Doc is the alpha horse. Eeyore is no threat to Doc and can get by Doc even in tight spaces. But the girls are a different story. If you don't get Tutu through the gate before you feed Doc, she won't go and will hang out and eat Eeyore's food. Racey and Doc will kick at each other if Doc lays his ears back, so you don't want to get in the middle of that!!! They've learned their places and often wait by their own trough now,so it only takes a few minutes to feed them. When Doc is done, he displaces Racey, who either displaces Tutu or goes in and takes over Eeyore's remaining grain. Tutu will check out Doc's vacant bucket and then go to Eeyores. Usually they go out to the field for the day, but on this nice sunny morning a couple of weeks ago, they all sunned themselves - all laying together (except Tutu is on this side of the fence) ... and you'll notice that the gate is open to the field on the far side of the horses!! They must have had a tough night and slept in!!! MORNING ADDENDUM: At 6 am, it was 21 degrees and according to the forcast we may not see 30 today. The horses had the sense to come in out of the cold and spent the night in the shed. At 7 they came out trotting, kicking up heels and chasing one another to get warm! Turns out I have a Christmas Horse or a Holy Horse! Tutu has a 'crown of thorns' tangled in her forelock. I went out with treats to attempt removing it. She gladly took the treats, but it was too tangled and I only got half of it. Mike was afraid if she shook her head, it could puncture an eye! Now it's shorter, so I'll get the rest out when it warms up!!! This branch is from our Mesquite trees and we have a lot of them - makes me want to take the lopers out on the next warm day and get rid of the lower branches of the ones that will continue to live on our little ranch!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Family time

(To enlarge picture, you can left click on any picture, click back arrow to return)

Pam and Cheyenne were quick to update their blogs with our mini-reunion, so this may be old news with a twist! It all started when Cheyenne decided to go to her 10 year high school reunion which was right after Thanksgiving. From there it expanded to Thanksgiving with John's Grandma in Pittsburg and a desire to see her Grandma Tigger, Uncle Tim and Aunt Rhonda in Illinois (of course to show off Riley). Since Travis is over in the desert for 4 months, Pam is home in Cleveland area, so she too joined in and got some good time with Cheyenne and John and Riley, and got to visit Brenden's great grandma, great uncle, etc. Well, this was more than I could resist since I hadn't seen my mom for over a year. So I also journeyed to Illinois and got to see Tim (my brother)'s 8 month old (GIGANTIC) puppy, 'Chip' (English style Chocolate Lab) and my nieces (who hadn't seen Cheyenne in years and had never met Pam)!! So, here we are, the basic building blocks of family: Back row: Tim, Mom, Me with Brenden and Rhonda Front row: Pam, Cheyenne with Riley, and John (Chey's hubby)

Tim's daughters, Jean (right) and Staci (center), and Jean's daughter Kelsey (left) came over and really took to the babies!
Great Grandma Tigger got a good look at both great grandsons:

When Travis was a baby, I had a picture of him with his Uncle Tim, and it seemed fitting to have Travis' son with Great Uncle Tim!!

I know Chey and Pam were anxious to meet their nephews in the flesh! Here's Chey with Brenden!

John got his share of playtime - it's too bad Travis couldn't be there, but maybe sometime after he gets back from the desert!! We have that to look forward to!