Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rythym, Routine, and Regularity

Just as the sun rises and sets each day, journaling and blogging have brought to my attention that there is a cycle to our life. Last year when I blogged of the ranch happenings they all seemed new and exciting somehow. This year a subject will present itself and I will remember that we have already been there and posted that. Life on a ranch is one of rythym, routine and regularity, and I personally like that. I like having an order to our days, months and seasons. It is good.

For this season we find ourselves preparing the garden for spring as well as enjoying the fruits of our winter garden, feeding and checking the cows, burros and horses a few times a week, daily caring for the dogs, cats, goats, chickens and 'ole Charlie horse, reading books and blogs, watching movies, enjoying rain one moment and sun the next and through it all we always keep the fire going. The fire warms us and those we bring into our midst.

Recently we also installed a few more items that keep the fire coming. They are personally my new best friends; a water heater that works and 2 propane wall heaters. We are uptown now! I sometimes feel a little guilty to want such luxury, but only for a brief moment, then I relax in the warmth that my new friends bring and enjoy! Of course, I wonder if I will feel the same when I see what is sure to be a higher bill when we get our propane tanks filled.

Occasionally too, something unexpected happens on the ranch. Like the arrival of a new friend on a rainy day or a fence that blows over and imprisons the daffodils in its death like grip
or the stomach flu that came visiting in the night.

(first photo taken near the ocean, not on the ranch, note the flat horizon!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Indian Warrior

We believe this first heralder of spring to be called Indian Warrior.
While some flowers grow set apart, we have always observed them growing clustered in community. I enjoyed being perched on their hillside for a little photo op.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Homesteading Honey

Truth be told, my honey can do a lot more than brandish a seaweed whip! (If you have no idea of what I speak than read the previous post)

Here he is with the Kentucky Cultivator he found in our basement. Besides opening up new ground for our garden we also spent the day pruning trees and grape-vines and other winter time garden chores.

Then on our way home from taking the cows some grass hay we came upon a herd of 20 shoats (my father tells me this is the correct term for a pig betwixt aproximately 130 and 180 pounds). Leaving the truck running he carefully retrieves his Marlin .44 magnum lever-action open-sights rifle and steps cautiously from the truck making sure not to close the door. He walks quietly, yet decisively towards the group rutting in yonder meadow 100 feet away. Spying a brush pile half way to the meadow he finds refuge there to take his shot. BAM. And then all the pigs scram except for one which lays dead from the bullet that pierced his heart. Perfect shot. I was impressed. Aren't you? Then back to the house where he gutted, skinned and cut all the meat off of the pig.
Then we traveled a short distance to a neighbor who has an electic meat grinder, which made it easy to turn all that meat into tasty sausage.
An odd coincidence happened today. Exactly one year ago, on February 21, 2008, we butchered Pink my once pet pig. We had no idea, until I had by chance glanced into my personal journal. Strange but true happenings at The Ranch on Salmon Creek.
If you would like to get our sausage recipe and a few more details on dressing a hog you can read last year's post here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Tall Tale

This story may be true, or it may not be true. But as tales go, it is a whopper.

A man driving along in his pick up came upon a large flock of turkeys. His wife glances towards her husband and says, "mmm, a turkey dinner sure sounds nice". His truck rolls on by as he says, "I only have the BIG gun and I don't think I can hit it in the head". He then notices the disappointment from his now salivating wife as she had already devoured the bird in her mind, so he stops his truck to give it a try. Carrying the BIG gun, he spys one suspicious bird with its eye on him and shoots. BAM. The turkeys scatter, except for that one suspicious bird who now lays in the litter of leaves. Wife jumps out of truck and runs up the hill to gather her dinner to find that the poor bird had jumped up and was walking dazedly around with a hole right through where its eyes should have been. You could see clean through. Wife hollers for husband to bring a knife and the poor blind bird was easily caught, and put out of its misery. It has been told that the wife enjoyed eating that bird, but she was later tormented all night with grisly dreams.

"You know, I believe this story, but there are thousands who wouldn't. " J. A.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Anniversary Continued....

My hubby didn't just take me to a snowy couch for some smoochin for our anniversary. After feeding the cows he drove me to the ocean which as the crow flies is only about 9 miles away, but on the road it is closer to 40 and takes a little over an hour. Then he escorted me into a room with a view! The storm that was covering the ranch with rain in the lower elevations and snow up top was blowing spray off of the wave tops into our 3rd story window. The regular swell from the northwest was 8 to 10 feet and the wind waves were nearly the same size and being driven from the southwest. So, all over the ocean were these large, odd, whitecapped pyramids. This photo does not do it justice. While we sat there in our warm and cozy room and watched the ocean we realized we didn't want to be out there on a boat.
The view from our room and the heater was inspiring, but the ocean's edge beckoned and we went out into the bracing wind and spray and got a closer look. There is something about the ocean, I think, that calls us all. I often think that its immensity and mystery reflects something of the infinite, of God.
This is a statue of Mario, I don't really know his story, but I think that this image of him makes me think that he liked to watch the sea and the prospect of ships to come in. This following photo reminded me of a strange experience we had in Mexico. We were sitting on our deck in the morning, at Casa Zorro, reading the Bible, when below us we heard some whooping and loud cracks. I peered down the hillside and saw a man dressed only, (catch the only) in a large poncho, or serape thing, and sporting a huge ornate black and white sombrero, he stood outside his wrought iron entryway cracking a whip. The construction workers at his home, did not know what to do- should they laugh, run, clap- so they stood frozen clustered in a little group. I could imagine their eyes round as saucers, as were mine. Then just as suddenly as he appeared he disappeared into the house and we all laughed, as did the men clustered below. Perhaps it was this man's anniversary that day. I will never know, but Mark did his own impression on the beach. Although, I think his rendition is more like the "Man from Snowy River". Don't you?
Unfortunately, I hollered for him to look at me as I took his photo and he didn't see the seaweed root end coming. I wonder if Mr. Zorro had similar problems....
Hope your anniversary is as memorable!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

We got snow and boy are we glad it is a fairly uncommon occurence. It is very pretty and changes the look and feel of the place, but it is cold and wet and it makes the cows hungry. And you know it is all about the cows! The following photo is of Perse giving me her Valentine cow kisses. The silly little year seventeen month old still thinks I am her momma even though it has been well over a year since I last bottle fed her. There is something heartwarming though to have a little heifer run out of the woods and across the prairie just to give you a big wet kiss! It warms my heart as well to have been married for 28 years today to the love of my life. His kisses are a little less sloppy than Perse's, I might add.
Happy Trails to YOU. May you lasso up some lovin.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Today, after checking on the cattle (the geriatrics are calving and doing very well, thank you very much) and delivering them some big bales with the truck, I asked Mark to come away with me for a late afternoon walk. I always pretend I am in search of some long lost cow, but I am mostly into stretching my legs and seeing what new sights might be over the next rise. I often think of the saying, "all those who wander are not lost" as I meander up and down and around these green covered hills. Today was no exception.

If you would like to see a photo of what Mark was up to one night this week, check out this photo. And if you, like me, often contemplate death in the pursuit of truly living you might like this post. Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Trinity Ann

Kym, of Redheaded Blackbelt, tagged us. She lives across the creek and we love following her blog that has a superb daily photo, and a wonderful mix of local news, delightful short stories, and just a tad of her personal life. For this game we were asked to go to the 6th picture folder and post the 6th photo and then tell about it. I was delighted to see that it was of Trinity, who came into this world on December 31, 2008.
In this photo, I find the juxtaposition of the warning label quite inspiring. Perhaps it means: "Watch out world, Trinity is here". She has a sweet, girly, yet powerful presence. I predict she will be a wonderful force for good and we are very excited to be part of her life.
If you follow this blog, you might remember a post or two mentioning her mom, Casey, and her soon to be best horsey friend, Tono. Soon, her mama will be riding again, and I have made it quite clear that I hope to babysit Trinity!
Aren't babies wonderful? Such potential waiting to unfold and warm and cuddly!