Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday the... Yeah, not that amusing

How's that for a BFE? Considerably larger than a store-bought jumbo.
Aaaand -- that's enough chicken stuff for this post.


With everything going on this year I never got around to giving the dogs their summer shave. By the time September loomed Nona was a real mess. Her penchant for rolling in every fresh cow pie followed by a roll in stinky organics-clotted mud followed by a roll in grass and dirt had he coat so matted that it was like a coat of mail (maille?). It was really a drag for her -- pun intended -- and she smelled like a gut wagon crashed into Burger King next to a swamp full of decomposing pigs. With a hint of baby shampoo.

So I gave her a very rudimentary haircut. The point was to get rid of the matted mail, and I did so, albeit in a rather second grade-ish fashion. I simply couldn't do the finish work as I'm only good for about 15 minutes at the grooming stand before the hurting gets to be too much.
"You did the best you could, Boss. For certain values of 'best'"

Anyway, Nona felt immediately better and so did I. Ever since then I've been chipping away at making it look better and evicting the last few snarls. Nona helps by multiple daily rolls in fresh cow pies, stinky organics-clotted mud, and grass and dirt.

Part of the daily grooming regimen is throwing her in a stock tank and scrubbing. Bit by bit she's getting clean. Or at least ruining the water in the tank.

The other dog at the ranch, Red, also ended up with a heavily matted coat, though as a slightly saner and more fastidious dog her coat wasn't the disaster Nona's was. Nevertheless, Mom wants Red to be an indoor-outdoor companion going forward, so Red needed a serious grooming, which she got at the vets place. That was all good. Part of the reason Red is to spend more time in the house is that the pack alpha male, Jeter, disappeared a couple of days after Dad died. We don't know what happened. I suspect he may have crawled off in tall grass and died. He was nine years old and lived a hard physical life. It's possible that someone captured him and took him home, and that's perhaps a nicer thought, but I don't think that's what happened. Anyway, I digress.

Nona and Red always accompany Mom on her prairie walks, and Nona always returns adorned with cowshit, mud, grass and dirt. Despite the fact that she's less inclined to massively overdo the rolling thing, Red is nevertheless a dog and she also partakes a bit. Which runs counter to Mom's plan of having a non-stinky dog spend time in the house.

So, short story long, after Nona had her stock tank Jacuzzi yesterday I decided to fling Red in there as well and wash off the post-grooming accumulation of unspeakable (Red leans more to dead things than poop).

Now while Nona is hyperactive and obsessive-compulsive, Red is extremely laid back except when it comes to herding cattle. When not busting bovines she reverts to Hee-Haw porch hound emulation. She also eats, and she's been a handy one to have around for dealing with food scraps. But with a low-revving motor and accumulating years, over-nutrition has made her, frankly, fat.
Fat but well groomed.

So when I'd finished washing her off in the stock tank yesterday she began to scramble out. But she's no longer the svelte pup who used to scramble in and out of stock tanks. She misjudged her ability to get her mass moving where she wanted it to go and overbalanced backwards in a very undignified splash. You had to be there to appreciate the humor of the situation. Well, you had to be there and not be Red. Wish I'd have been taking a video.


It was nice to see the Huskers get a second win last evening. They started with a bit of a sophomore slump in Coach Frost's second year, but they seem to be making progress. Hope they don't get blown out by the fighting lioneyes next week.

Sometime in the second quarter we got this.

Hard to worry overmuch about football when this is just outside the window.

Great Horned Owl was out and about after the sun had gone.


It isn't always easy to be a cow. This crossbred cow has a good bit of Simmental in her genetics. The shape of the head and big ears are a giveaway.

Big ears aren't always the best thing to have. They're a nice radiator when it gets hot but they also tend toward cold injury when the mercury plummets. This one has cropped ears and tail from frostbite.


Some of the prettiest autumn flowers are the tiniest.


Autumn bugs are colorful too, like this goldenrod soldier beetle.


The weather guessers are predicting 87 degrees today. It's 83 just now (noon) and it did warm up pretty quick this morning. Might be the last hot(ish) day of the year. Or not. We'll find out soon enough. Started growing my winter beard a couple of days ago.


Don't know why I get such a kick out of this...


Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.


  1. Dang, gotta check here every day!
    Good stuff, eclectic, but good.
    So sorry about losing Jeter. Critters are often family members too, and losing a favorite critter along with a human family member so close together is doubly sad. Hope Red proves to be a good house dog for your Mom.
    John Blackshoe.

  2. Thanks John. Losing Jeter was hard, most of all on Mom. The timing sucked, but for all our vaunted superiority we just don't get to be in charge of most stuff. The lord has proved to my complete satisfaction that he'll never throw more than I can handle at me. Unfortunately he's often perfectly willing to throw a great deal of much more than I want my way. But that's reality the way it really is. I suspect that Red is exactly the right dog in the right place at the right time.

  3. Skunks and porcupines. Our ranch dogs just wouldn't stay away. Worse, they would corner skunks under our coal shed. Made feeding the Stokermatic "interesting".

    Hope your mom is doing ok.

    1. That would be interesting as hell!

      I do too. I think she is. She seems to get a lot of enjoyment from chickens, yard work, and prairie hikes. I can't possibly know the depths of her loss though. 59 years and change together. Can't begin to understand that reality.

      Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words.

  4. Replies
    1. It sure was. I'm old as shit and generally in a lot of pain and a pretty sunset still takes my breath away and leads me directly to centeredville.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Scott!

  5. Ah, love me some good tales about your faithful canines. Sad about Jeter, life does come at you fast.

    Your pictures always make my day. Best wishes to your Mom, let her know that there are complete strangers out here who care and who pray for her.

    Getting old isn't for sissies, that's for sure.

  6. We had a pup named "Buckshot" that was forever trying to best a family of raccoons, it seldom ended well for him.
    Sorry about Jeter.
    I've met your mom, she's a strong, salt of the earth woman,
    she'll handle this with God's blessings.

    1. Thanks Brig. Dogs are, well, dogs.

      Mom's a lot tougher and well grounded than I.