The title sounds amazing, doesn’t it?? Are you picturing a perfect ranch with the fancy sign hanging over the road as you ramble up the mountain to the ranch? The sun is just beginning to set and off to one side you see beautifully groomed horses running in their pasture. A little farther up you see the ranch and barn. In a few more pastures you find the sweet cows, sheep, goats and many chickens and ducks waddling around. All is peaceful. You pick up the bucket of sweet feed and a bale of hay. You head out to feed your calm rams. They lovingly come up to you as you walk in with their hay. You go to the buck and cow pen…ahhh, they are such docile animals. They stay patiently in their pasture, waiting for you to care for them.
STOP! The dream is over! Let’s talk reality here! For those of you who have dreamed of living out in the country or on a mountain with your animals, I have one word of advice for you. It will not be as you picture it! It is a ton of hard work, chasing a lot of animals, a lot of hurts, and a work ethic that is unbelievable in your children! It was because of my husband growing up on a farm, that he was hired for his first job out of the army. The lady who hired him had grown up on a farm and knew how hard you work with animals and the land. She hired him for that main reason, because she (still to this day) said she knew he’d have a good work ethic.
So, are you wondering what has brought this post on? Well, let’s see….the ram(our four-horned Jacob…yes, 4 horns!) decided he wanted to ram our oldest son repeatedly this morning when he went in his pasture. Our son came in with a bloodied finger. I won’t tell you what one son decided to do with a drill, but it should be enough to say that he almost threw me into shock. Thank God He watches over our children daily. I pray that prayer constantly throughout the day. Then we had snow on the driveway and a van that would not start. We needed to go to pick up a food co-op order and attend a speech/debate club meeting. Three of our six decided to head out and shovel the .7 mile long driveway. They did over half of it before reaching a clear area. They did this by hand. Remember what I said about work ethic? They had this idea on their own and went out and worked hard on it. Then hubby came home during lunch to see if the van would start. Nope. Okay, so we sent the two oldest boys in to their club meeting with their Dad and Grandma, while the rest of us stayed home. Next up? The livestock guardian dog and our two large bucks decide to break out of the pasture that they share with the cows. All I could do was think, “Oh, no, there go our cows into the mountains again! And we are planning to butcher them this weekend…that’s our meat for our family!!!” I threw my boots on and ran out in the freezing cold to help put the goats and dog back in the pen. Thankfully, three of our children were already there holding them. How many 7, 9, and 11 year olds do you know that will hold two large bucks and a large livestock guardian while all three males are trying to show “dominance” to each other?? Are you getting the picture of these three male animals now??? You try holding one of those big guys when they are on their hind feet showing dominance over the other guy. Our children sure have more confidence than I had at that age in handling animals. Wow. So, we put the dog back in under the fence at least 3 times and he escaped at least 3 more times. Then the problem was the bucks. There was no way they were bowing down that low to go back in their pasture under the fence. Yet, they had come out that way. So, one son stayed with the dog, while two of our other children led the bucks around to the gate. Meanwhile, we are anxiously watching our cows to make sure they do not bolt out the gate while we have it open putting the bucks in. Boy, we all smell so nice right now….hmmm, what is the name of that perfume? I believe it is Buck! Nice.
Does this sound like the perfect ranch that you pictured??? Yes, it is beautiful here. Yes, we do have a lot of fun. Yes, we do enjoy having our animals. Is it perfect? No, only perfect for us. 🙂 And now I think I’ll go watch Bucky and his 15 does come up to our house. They come ever morning and evening and we so enjoy watching them. So thankful I don’t have to chase them down and put them in a pen! I’ll just enjoy them freely roaming in the wild on our property.
So, there you have our perfect ranch walk.