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Wednesday, February 10 2016

When people visit it gives you the chance to look at your home through fresh eyes. In my case, there's always panic.

"How did the ceiling fan get so much dust in a week?"
"The dust bunny that just blew out from under the couch is bigger than a poodle!"
"How much time do we have to clean before they get here?!"

The house is never clean enough for me. The dogs and goats are never quiet enough. There are always unfinished projects still sitting out in the yard or in the barn that simply cannot be picked up. It is a fact of life that no matter how clean the house is, the cat will crap in the litter box moments before company enters the door.

But the joy of having company over is that after the initial "oh my gosh, my house is still a wreck," in addition to enjoying the visit, you get the chance to dust off your glasses and see other things for the first time in a long time. And with children, you get to look at your life in technicolor.

The grandchildren came through last weekend like a summer rain, breathing new life into everything around them. Although I never get tired of living here, it's still amazing how looking at the ranch through a child's eyes can bring so much more color. You don't have to plan things to do because the land provides plenty that will keep feral children occupied. Fresh eyes can change your perspective, making old things new and exciting.

 A simple ride around the ranch is no longer a journey for us to check fence or look at cattle, it's a Lewis & Clark expedition. The creek itself is a living thing and never fails to be the greatest of classrooms. It provides history lessons, geology lessons and murder mysteries. A hunt for fossils in the creek moves from the field of paleontology to expand and become a murder investigation as they search for bones of a dead calf. The bone theme continues as they poke through the woods in search of bones from a dead bull. The afternoon became an Easter egg hunt for bones.

The world is their classroom and it shows.

We went from learning to shoot from the top of the cliff

to climbing the underside of the cliff from the creek.

And they discovered roping is a lot harder than it looks.

These kids have their own goats, but feeding the goats and sheep was still a blast for them. I enjoyed this too, since doing chores is a lot more fun and a lot easier when you have minions. Grandchildren make great minions.

The Livestock Guardian Dogs were a big hit. No surprise there. The puppies were great with the kids. There is nothing quite like seeing your grandchildren playing with dogs bigger than they are to make you appreciate a good breeder who properly socializes her puppies with children. (Thank you, Ramie Carter in Oklahoma!)

Even properly socialized, a pack of Border Collies is not a good mix with a pack of grandchildren, so to protect the dogs and the grandchildren from themselves, we opted to lock the Border Collies behind bars this weekend. This left Dillon, the Labrador Retriever, to enjoy and be enjoyed. He was in heaven. Like Other Half pointed out,

"They are the same grade level."

As always, the horses are a big draw, and they made the most of liberal treats poked at them by little hands.

Once again, Joe proved himself to be a horse of great value. He isn't a fancy showhorse, or a skilled cowhorse, but he's the best kind of horse - your go-to horse, the horse you can trust to introduce another grandbaby to the world of horses.

You just can't put a price on a smile.

So the kids went back home, and the house is still a mess, there are still unfinished projects in the yard, the ceiling fan is already gathering dust, and the cat just hit the litter box again, but the kids left me with a renewed look at life here through their 3D glasses. They reminded me that there are more important things than a clean house. After all, we live in a barn with the animals, how clean is it ever gonna be? And ongoing, unfinished projects are part of ranch life. Kids are able to take you outside to view the vivid beauty of life and death on a ranch that pales a bit when you let yourself get caught up in the day to day humdrum of chores.  A child reminds you to live in the now, to enjoy the moment, to appreciate the cold sand between your toes as you walk in the creek.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:46 am   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
That bunch is always like a hurricane and a breath of fresh air all at once!!! It's so great they got to come up!!
Posted by Patty on 02/10/2016 - 11:39 AM
LOL! You're right! They are the best kind of hurricane!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 02/12/2016 - 08:16 AM
Grands are the best! My four grand girls are between 10 and 17. All but the youngest grew up around the farm . We "ran away" 10 years ago so the 3 older girls had the luxury of helping at the farm as infants, toddlers into primary years. But they all come visit frequently and the big deal still is the goats, the LGDs and the chickens. Aren't we Gammie's with farms/ranches super blessed?
Posted by Terry on 02/13/2016 - 12:18 AM

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