Friday, December 5, 2014

Back in our Rut and Having a Doggone Good Time!

Well, we’re back in our rut, so to speak.  Not really, though.  Since we got home we’ve been moving non-stop.  Trips to the farm to move hay, sell calves and do other chores have been a weekly occurrence.  Through it all, Colt, Rue and the cows kept a close eye on each other.

We arrived home in Volente to find the yard looking lush and green, but a little wild and wooly.  We’ve now had the flower beds weeded, bushes trimmed and the yard mowed.  It looked great for a few days, but then the weather turned unseasonably cold.  The early freezes have meant that we needed to move plants inside several weeks early, and that the leaves began to turn a bit sooner than usual.  The ones at the farm have been especially pretty.

We hardly had time to catch our breath, and it was time to get ready for Thanksgiving.  We left for the farm on the Monday before, and began to prepare for a big holiday weekend.  We were joined on Wednesday by Cousins Kathy and Eric, then a few hours later by my brother and his wife.  At that point the humans were outnumbered; there were only six of us and seven dogs!  They were flying in all directions most of the time, so it was impossible to get all of them in one photo, but you get the idea!

In addition to our three, Kathy and Eric brought 10-month-old Kaia, who was readily accepted since she looks a lot like a Border Collie.

My brother, Allan, and his wife, Jefflyn, (Jef) showed up with their own Molly and their two “grand-dogs,” Clover the "All-American," and Rudy the Brittany Spaniel.  

It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that bedlam and mayhem quickly followed.  There were dogs flying in every direction, chasing, barking and in general having a fine time.  To give you some idea of our “entertainment” for at least part of the weekend, here are a few of my favorite photos.

Playing chase at the stock tank

Enjoying the fruits of a successful search for cow pies!
My brother’s family spent Thanksgiving Day with Jef’s mother and her siblings, while Kathy, Eric, John and I drove into neighboring Clifton to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Isbell’s.  The small, family-owned restaurant outdid themselves.  In spite of the fact that some of their employees didn’t show up for work, they pulled it together and delivered a just-as-good-as-home-cooked turkey/ham and all the trimmings dinner.  

There was even pecan pie with a crust like my mother always made!  We were thrilled to have someone else do the cooking (and the clean-up!) and look forward to going back next year.

Things really got lively on Friday when my son, Brian, and his family (including our grand-dog, Louie) arrived and my brother’s whole family was back.  

Mallory is finishing her senior year in high school, and Myles just celebrated his 14th birthday.  Can you guess why we call them "The Redheads!"

In the afternoon, Kathy and Eric gave rides on their horses, Radius and Savvy.  

Noah gave tours of the tepee fort he had built from cedar poles, and Jamey demonstrated how he would climb up into the big elm tree.

(Photos of these activities are still on my camera at the farm....stay tuned!)

Our Friday full-family get-together started with happy hour at my brother’s house.  

While the grownups visited, my nieces' children, Noah, Rachel, Jamey and Laura, amused themselves with books and dogs.  


Happy hour was followed by dinner for 19 at our place.  John and sous-chef Kathy outdid themselves with a fantastic pork butt, and the go-withs everyone brought were spectacular.  By the end of the evening, there were 19 full bellies, and not a leftover on the place!  

On Saturday there were more riding lessons, long walks to admire the leaves, and more dog fun with the pack now at full strength.  With two puppies, 10-month-old Kaia and 13-month-old Clover, there was never a dull moment. Chewing bones was very popular.

Clover wasn't exactly sure what to do with hers, so she turned to Molly for instruction.
Molly also gave her a lesson in the proper way to "mark" your territory.  

The unusual way Molly lifts her leg to pee was started by original Pack Leader Lucky Dog.  She taught it to Feathers and Nickie, and then to Molly.  We keep hoping some of the other dogs will follow Molly's example and continue the tradition, but so far none of them have.  Clover was paying close attention, however.

By Saturday evening, we were all exhausted and happy, but looking forward to the next gathering.

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