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Friday, January 27 2017

I got a note today from Tina in New Mexico. She was checking since she hasn't seen a blog post in a while. That's so incredibly sweet. And humbling. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to check in and say "Whuzzup?!"

Things have been pretty busy here the last few months. I've been trying to finish a Farm Fresh Forensics book so I can start sending query letters out to agents. Before the holidays I was approached by a television production company that was interested in doing a Farm Fresh Forensics television show. While it was an intriguing proposition, I'm not sure it'll ever pan out because they wanted to do a reality show and didn't realize I had already retired. They'd have to do the show with actors and that costs more money. Regardless of whether or not anything like that ever comes to fruition, it was still flattering that we attracted the attention of Hollywood (or in this case, Burbank.)

But life here is less about Hollywood and more about firewood. It's winter now and never do you more appreciate living in a barn than when you have to feed and it's 24 degrees outside. Deer Season is finally over and things can return to some semblance of 'normal' again. We don't really hunt but there are hunters on the properties around us. One set of hunters has a camp very near our main sheep pasture. The Anatolians are quite interested in the hunters who have petted and fed them. The camp is definitely more entertaining than a sheep pasture and thus Judge regularly sneaked over to visit his new friends. Jury was caught red-headed trying to pull a butchered hog out of a tree at 3 AM one morning. In his defense, the carcass was less than 100 yards upwind of the pasture. Apparently that was more temptation than his juvenile brain could handle. So to keep good relations with the neighbors, I opted to keep the sheep at the house and put the boys on lockdown when hunters were here.

Keeping track of MoonPossum is a full time job.

She has grown quite a bit and is as big as Mesa now.

While Mesa is built like Demi Moore in the GI Jane movie, MoonPossum is a 'full-figured' girl who is more like the Meghan Trainor song, "All About That Bass." (If you haven't heard this song, google it. Guaranteed for a smile.)

 Possum is deaf, but her vision appears to be better now. She isn't squinting as much and seems to navigate quite well except for dark shadows in bright sunlight. Possum lives in a silent world colored with smells. Her nose is exceptional and she follows it everywhere.

Because our barnyard is large and oddly shaped, it's easy to lose Possum around buildings and trees. We put a bell on her collar so we can keep tabs on her by the jingling but it's easy to get preoccupied with chores and find that you've misplaced Possum. This has resulted in racing around the barnyard in a panic calling, "Where's Possum?"

Since MoonPossum is deaf, one would think this activity would be fruitless, but far from it. Mesa is Border Collie. Border Collies excel in teaching themselves new things. Mesa has learned that when I lose Possum she is to locate the deaf dog, and do a drive-by on the little stinker who then sees her black and white friend and follows her back to me.

This works quite well. Mesa retrieves Possum no less than fifty times a day. Often it is no more than a casual poke to get her attention and let her know that everyone else has changed direction and is ready to leave.

The newest act in our three-ring circus is the addition of Norman, the bottle-baby calf.

Norman is a Shorthorn. He may have been a twin. Other Half got him from a friend who wasn't in the position to be able to raise him. We've had Norman for two weeks. He's already bonded to Other Half.

I have no clue what we're going to do with him. My suggestion to put him in the freezer was met with stony silence from Other Half so I'm guessing that's out. Most likely he will end up as another pet. If we ever get a milk cow then Norman can be a yard companion for it. After he is eating solid food well we can try to introduce him into our herd so he can ultimately go out onto the ranch. In the mean time he is penned beside the sheep and goats who are terrified of him. The dogs enjoy time with the calf because they normally never get to satisfy their curiosity with calves. Norman finds them to be a minor annoyance. As far as he's concerned dogs are only good for butt-cleaning and racing in the yard.

"And it's MESA by a length!"

Norman gets turn-out time in the barnyard where he can zoom and play. The dogs run beside him and Possum gets to pretend she is a cowdog.

Mesa keeps track of Norman and herds him back when he strays too far.

So in a nutshell, we're doing fine. It's still a circus here, and we've added a few more acts.  The book is almost finished and I'm already planning the next one.



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 03:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  7 Comments  |  Email
Glad you came up for air was on the verge of sending a where are you. Have been hearing about your bad winter cold. Not sure if it's where you are/ We have been having a gorgeous sunny not too hot summer so far while up north is cooking. We seem to miss the heat and the too heavy rain. Nice and green up here in the hills. Plenty of cockatoo flocks each evening.
Posted by Liz [Vic. Aust] on 01/27/2017 - 05:16 PM
My Gideon decided one day that he was his brother's keeper. One day I asked, "Where's Micah?" He cocked his head and took off like a shot. Pretty soon, I could hear wrestling. Then I see Gideon's butt coming around the corner dragging Micah with it. Pretty clever, but even better, Micah figured out in one go to just cooperate and come along when Gideon goes to fetch him, so now, "Where's Micah?" is a regular thing.
Posted by Patty on 01/27/2017 - 06:46 PM
so many favorite lines in this blog... gonna go with "more about firewood than Hollywood" and I loved the photos of Norman & the dogs! spring is right around the corner, hang tight!
Posted by cindy on 01/27/2017 - 09:20 PM
Yay, you're back!I've missed reading your posts. I can't wait for your book. I don't have cable or satellite but would be tempted to get it to watch a reality show from your ranch, lol.
Posted by Lindsay Hermanson on 01/27/2017 - 10:06 PM
Thanks for the update. I was going into withdrawal without any updates. Love hearing about the new acts. Norman is a cutie!
Posted by Sharon on 01/27/2017 - 11:40 PM
So glad to hear that all is well on your end!! Can't believe how fast the "Possum" is growing.
Posted by buffalogal on 01/28/2017 - 10:59 AM
I'm so so so happy you're back! I cannot WAIT to read your book!!
Posted by Christine on 01/28/2017 - 06:34 PM

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