Friday, September 22, 2017


Yesterday afternoon we delivered some firewood to a friend we haven't seen in a while and he reminded me that we have a blog.  A blog that has obviously been forgotten in a whirlwind of days. 

Summer slipped by.  Now it is fall.  Does time always move faster with the passing of years?

Our summer days were filled with friends, family and work.  Here is a 4 minute slideshow to remember it by.  Happy Fall everyone. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Wild Flowers

I've always loved wildflowers.  Their bright shining faces herald the end of winter and the promise of spring.   They represent to me the joy and constant renewal of life.  They seem to add a breath of hope to a world that too often seems to breathe despair.   

One of my bucket list items has been to catalog all of the wildflowers on the ranch. I've  been busy this spring wandering around taking photos of the lovelies with my phone.  There are a multitude of them!  I was already on a first name basis with a few varieties,  but there are a lot more of our flowery guests that I did not know at all.  I've found myself buried in a wildflower book or online trying to correctly identify them.    I haven't finished.   The summer varieties are still popping up and I  currently I have a backlog on my phone's gallery waiting to be named.

When I say named, I mean this quite literally, as I've taken to saying, 'Good day Woodland Madia' or 'Hello Buttercup'.   It helps me remember them and I like to think of them as my new friends.  I realize this project will probably take me many years to complete so I've started a wildflower page on this blog that I will continue to organize and add to.  

If you are on a computer you will see it listed along the top under the banner.  If you are reading this on a phone you will open the home link on the upper left hand side and scroll down and click on the wildflower page.  

If you see that I've wrongly identified a flower and this is very likely, please let me know.  Thanks so much and may you too get acquainted with many new 'friends'.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gorgeous Spring

The grass is technocolor green and flowers are beginning to pop.  It's a gorgeous time on the ranch and yet I lay in bed feeling overwhelmed by tasks to be done.

Yesterday I rode around the ranch with a county extension rangeland consultant giving her a brief overview of the ranch.  All I could seem to see were things to be done as I just talked and talked.  I tend to do this when I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable.  The winter has been a long one and the 120 inches of precipitation hard on the land and infrastructure.   Every year we also seem to fall a little bit more behind on fixing things.   (Or rather 'restoring' them as Mark likes to say).


We've been gone quite a bit this winter as well. Christmas in Vegas with family.  Then a hike in Arizona in late February and early March.  Followed by hanging out with our youngest son while he recuperated from a serious auto accident.  Then a week babysitting our oldest son's three wee ones while him and his wife got their first getaway together in almost 4 years. 

All my attempts at getting a photo of the three wee ones turned out a bit like this.  It was like herding cats!


I think it is  time to stay home and enjoy this gorgeous place and try not to get overwhelmed by all the tasks to do.  

One thing I noticed yesterday, driving around, is that the cattle look healthy and happy and the hogs do too.  When we are home we try to check on the cattle once a week and give them a bite or two of hay and we normally supplement the hogs with organic grain.  We ran out of hay for the cattle and grain for the hogs a month ago and we are kind of low on funds too so we didn't get anymore feed.  The animals are all doing fine though.  The hogs are growing a bit slower, but they look great. The cattle were all laying around chewing their cuds by mid day, a sign of contentment.  I think we've made it through winter and the grass is beginning to grow.   Hurray! 

Maybe I should just roll out of bed and ignore the pile of dirty laundry and dishes and bills to pay and forget about broken spring boxes and leaking roofs and bulls that need to be moved. Maybe I should roll out of bed and go find some flowers just waiting to be discovered, but after my coffee, of course.  


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Them Roads Need a Rockin

Ranch life has its seasons and I'm not just talking winter, spring, summer, fall.  I'm talking about things we do year after year like clockwork.  Sometimes, our journal entries sound like a repeat from the year before and the year before and the year before that too.   I thought I would look back through the annals of time and actually re-post a journal entry similar to what we are up to now.  Road Work!

We have miles and miles of dirt road that has to be maintained.  We are very grateful that we have our own rock pit and large 'boy toys' to get the work done.  We are especially thankful that we have our neighbor, Gil, who is an amazing operator and fixes all of our mistakes and the weather's damage.    Who looks absolutely the same today as he did then.  He is the most vital and strong and sharp 87 year old that I think we have ever met.  We love ya Gil!

Without further adieu:

Boy Toys, circa 2008 Written by Mark:

For the past few days our two neighbors and I have been rockin' the roads. (we're cool, but there's no music involved) Gil , rancher to the west, Pete, rancher to the east, and I have become the three amigos road team. Our area receives an average of 8 feet of rain per year... since we need to use the roads in any weather we try to keep the surface covered in rock (gravel). Our ranch has the best source of gravel and we provide the loader, Pete has a small dozer with a 6-way blade and he provides the snacks, Gil and I both have dump trucks and he provides the road grader. (Gil is also the only member of our team who really knows road work, He actually built most of the roads we are now using.)
Here's some photos from today; I'm sorry there aren't any pics of Pete and his dozer in operation but while we were working on his ranch, we drivers had our hands full avoiding Kris, (the lady of the ranch) who was eagerly searching the fresh road covering for arrow-heads and other artifacts!

My Ride!

This is Gil and his Grader. note the all-day coffee

The Load-out (with apologies to Jackson Browne)

Pete and I have a great time, the roads are improved, and Gil gets entertained watching us make him look magic!