Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

A few weeks ago, our blogging neighbor Kym, posted, "Releasing the Imp Inside". Her entry talked of how dressing up enables us to explore our imagination and perhaps even our inner desires. She ended with a question of what would our costume be? Here on the ranch we have gotten some mileage out of this question. So, I ask you, what is the first thing that pops into your head when you think of a costume you would like to wear? Mark says the Invisible Man, Eric's is Big Foot and mine is Pocahontas. Although a Latin singer/dancer also comes to mind. Perhaps Pocahontas wearing a mini skirt!?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Thank you to all who suggested names. This experience has really expanded my list of potential names for bulls!

Our favorites are; for our emo bull number 1, Jeremiah. His (nick)namesake is Jerry, the former owner of our herd and previous resident in our current house. Bull number 2 shall be named Maximus (nick)named Max. I have to share a story about Max the bull which will further explain our choice of names... as I passed the corral this morning, I noticed a 4 or 5 cow entourage around our new rock-star. Since he has exhibited a pronounced limp lately (battlescar from a jealous competitor, no doubt) I was watching intently to see how he was moving. As I drove slowly past, he turned his head to make eye contact, then performed his contracted duty upon the cow in front of him, and immediately began nuzzling the cow next to her! I have several problems with this; ALL of the cows in the pen are supposed to be third trimester and therefore uninterested, and these geriatric, and pregnant cows should know better than to fall for the smooth talking, good looking guy. Maximus, indeed!

Congratulations Annette, and Jason. Let us know your choice of prize! (December 7th will be caroling with the cows, a barn party/hayride/wild-tree decorating weenieroast extravaganza!

Here you can see why we needed new bulls: during last spring's cattle olympics the leap-frog team was under performing. The King is hamburger! Long live the King!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

NAME THAT BULL ! (and that other bull)

All of the animals not slated for imminent slaughter are named upon reaching the (relative) sanctuary of our ranch. Sooo, the two new guys on our production line are in need of monikers. They are pure bred Angus and hail from Snake Creek Ranch in Nebraska. The name of their bloodline is Superior. Not bragging, just a name.
New Guy number one is number two. He is stocky, amiable, strong yet gentle, and weeps easily.

Even when he's in the middle of a project, like digging a new dusting pit, he's not too busy to help a friend in need.

New Guy number two is number ten. Is this clear? Number ten is more macho and aggressive toward his fellow bovines, and less sociable with humans. (Camera shy, maybe?) He is also a bigger hit with the females... sort of a Russel Crowe type. Classic body type, poses well, popular, but fun to be around??

I, and one of Tj's new geriatric cows, think NOT!!

On the plus side, YOU can use this personal info. to your advantage. We are offering a ridiculously cheap prize to encourage some outside energy in the naming process. An overnight stay in the ranch bunkhouse OR a set of note cards featuring photos of the ranch for the winning names. Just a heads-up here, the goat and our oldest horse, Charlie will attempt to join you in the bunkhouse. Your call there. Good luck.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Buyers Remorse

Do you see the serious contemplation on my hubby's face? Yes, he was a thoughtful, intentional buyer today at the local bull and cow sale. We arrived early to be able and walk around in the bull pens, peruse the information on each bull and then try and buy a couple at a reasonable price. Which my husband did do. We got two bulls that are truly Superior, (more on this tomorrow, and be on the ready for a bull naming contest!) Myself, on the other hand, made an incredibly unthoughtful, rash bid and came away with 11 more geriatric cows. What was I thinking? I think I was thinking that they were cute, and looked like they needed a home, and the price was bargain basement. They are all pregnant and they are supposed to have all their teeth, but as we loaded them we couldn't help but notice that a few of them had walkers! And perhaps the full set of teeth they have is because they were wearing dentures. Yikes, I certainly had no plans to buy any cows, I actually have been worried about the shortage of feed and our seemingly lack of rain thus far, so I really must have been blinded by that blue light special. Come on you ladies out there. Surely you know how it is?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Slide Show

The following slide show might not work for you if your internet connection is slow. So the following photo is my favorite and seems to capture the grace in the moment.

Baptism in Salmon Creek

Click to play October 12, 2008
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Friday, October 17, 2008

I Look Like a Dork

Eric the Bold, our chief firewood cutter and bottle washer, was attacked by a tree. It cast a branch from 80 feet up and hit him right in the elbow, lacerating his back and putting another knot on his head as well. It apparently knocked some sense in him, and he decided to take a break from the dangers of being a lumberjack. Sooo, that left us short one firewood cutter and since we are woefully behind on our deliveries (underline woefully) I was recruited.

I mostly run the hydrolic splitter, but I decided to give the maul a try. It was a 12 pound maul and I had a little difficulty getting the swing of it. Mark ran and got a camera after I actually discovered I could be successful. I envisioned how strong, and powerful I would look as he clicked away. Later I looked at the images and realized I looked like a dork!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Green, Green Grass of Home

We were so happy to finally set eyes on the ranch again.
Las Vegas was fun, for a time, Donnie's accomplishment was truly praiseworthy, and it was wonderful being with our daughter, but all the masses of people were not our cup of tea. And no, we didn't ride the motorcycle there, we almost did, but then we changed our mind and drove down to our family's farm in the central valley of California, went to a good friend's 40th redneck birthday bash, loaded up some of Mark's brother's prime alfalfa hay and then flew from there to Vegas. Whew, that was a run-on sentence! And that is kind of how it felt too.

Look at this, can you see it? Isn't it beautiful and wonderful. While we were away the hills began to change from gold to green. This photo is a familiar view taken from our deck.
Just in case you can't see too well, I took a close up. I know, it is pretty crazy for us to get all excited over some grass, but hey that is what this county is known for. :-)First thing we did upon arrival is unload that prime hay I mentioned before. Although, I might add, that my job was only to 'ooh' and 'aah' over the brawn of my husband. Last time I unloaded these big 3 twine bales I was laid up for a week with a bad back, so I decided to give myself a new job!Eric the Bold arrived just in time... talk in the men's circle! Although his friend Brian did arrive in time to help Mark unload all the hay. Thanks Brian. (Kidding aside, Eric didn't know we were unloading or I'm sure he would have been there.)

Now we feel ready for winter. Green grass coming, a barn full of protein rich alfalfa hay and another barn with the big round bales of local grass hay. Look closely at the picture and you will see something hiding.

This is our daughter's cat, Quinn, who thinks he hides really well. He has that crazy ninjakitty kind of 'tude. He cracks us up and scares the dogs. They see him and they actually run away with their tails between their legs! It must work with wild animals too, because Quinn has been sneaking all over the ranch for years with narry a scratch.
End of tale.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And the location is....

Las Vegas, of course. We are visiting with our daughter who lives here and celebrating her boyfriend's graduation from the police academy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Guess Where?

We flew in under the cover of darkness and awoke to this view out of our window. Any guesses where we are?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

After Rain

I love equines. I especially love just watching them run around having a good time. The cooler air and rain brings out the playfulness in them. It reminds me of the childhood fun of splashing in mud puddles and making mud pies and having mud fights. Just the pure joy of being alive and having friends to share it with. Have a good day, friend.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Water Boot Time

Mark went to pull out his rain boots and discovered that it was home to a spider. We never saw the spider, so we aren't sure what kind it was/is, but it looks like it was very industrious.

Our first real rain of the season has begun. Previously we received .4 in the last little storm, but this rain is supposed to bring inches. Right now we register 1.1 in our rain gauge. We love the rain and it is a good thing because we often get 100 plus in a season! Soon our hills will change from gold to green and all the animals will be happy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September Review in Photos

Every month here at the ranch we look over the photos of the previous month and try to pick out our favorites. This month it was difficult because, frankly, we didn't take very many pictures. I guess September was uninspiring. Oh well. Let us know which is your favorite. Thanks.