Monday, March 30, 2009

Last Week at Large

We fixed some fence and corrals and hauled an aquaintence's horses to a new boarding facility, we shopped, we cleaned, we got together with friends, we planted potatoes,
we put out a little brush pile that decided to spread.

We hiked through the dark forest where the night before the little fairies had danced and sang and left their little slippers for us to enjoy. (Calypso Orchids)
We saw our last calf for the season born. They started late summer and now, finally, end. Ha, Ha, Ha, we really have our cows calving close together. (hear the sarcasm) The main reason for this long calving season is the geriatrics I bought cheaply in the fall. They were slated to calve in February and March, which they did. All of these calves look really good and the cows are excellent mothers. One is even raising a nice set of twins. I guess my purchase wasn't so bad after all. Now we just have to slide them over to fall calving which is no easy feat. Meet our pastor with his nephew's pig. He told me to write, " Here our Pauline pastor is hauling pig on the Sabbath", or something like that. He thought it was quite funny. Maybe you have to be a pastor to get the humor?
Our farrier also brought a group out to hunt last week, but they were skunked, or should I say 'stumped'. Inside story folks, that if told might embarrass a man or two. Heaven knows we can't have that. All I can hint at is that sometimes stumps look a lot like a pig. Especially if there is a mushroom growing where a nose might be. Or so I am told.
Why did this poor tree die? It was a good tree and gave shade and refuge for many an animal. We shed a tear or two for its loss and then Mark dug its roots out also. We wanted no proof of its grisly demise. We will tell you the why of its death later. We think it a worthy cause, but the one who fell this mighty tree said he wanted nothing of it, he was only doing what he was told. I just can't get enough of these ear photos. I have been riding almost daily now that the weather thinks it is mostly spring. Mostly spring ideed. This photo shows the top of the ranch early in the week all dusted in snow while the lower regions were rich and green.
I think I shall leave you with a poem I chanced upon by Emily Dickenson. Perhaps you could tell me what you think it means.
An altered look about the hills;
A Tyrian light the village fills;
A wider sunrise in the dawn;
A deeper twilight on the lawn;
A print of a vermilion foot;
A purple finger on the slope;
A flippant fly upon the pane;
A spider at his trade again;
An added stut in chanticleer;
A flower expected everywhere;
An axe shrill singing in the woods;
Fern-odors on untravelled roads,-
All this, and more I cannot tell,
A furtive look you know as well,
And Nicodemus' mystery
Receives its annual reply.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Check This Out

If you would like to read something beautiful, written by our dear friend Rae who is living in India in a Christian community, click on this link:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"The Ides of March" Shakespearean firewood

Meet our firewood crew for march...right to left, Zac (our eldest son), Radek (on loan from the university in Prague, Czecholslovakia to U.C. Berkeley to finish his P.H.D. in theatre), and Ryan (beloved friend of our family). Chemy the cat is on loan from the S.F. animal shelter. He apparently hitched a ride because he hadn't seen the Redwoods in any of his nine lives.

Not really certain what he saw when he observed those huge trees, but the light, and shadows, the shades of green, and the sheer magnitude of the scene must have been overwhelming in the 3-D vision of multi-colored eyes!

As is "normal" for March weather here, they worked in shirtless warmth, raingear, and even bundled up in the snow. Zac skidded extra logs on the dry days to provide for the days when it was too sloppy to use machinery.

The weather changes so quickly that we even got to load snow-covered wood in tee shirt conditions.
They shared the sawing and splitting in the beginning, but Radek preferred splitting rather than the noise of the chainsaw, and both Ryan and Radek preferred the maul to the hydralic splitter. (Ahh, youth!) Which left Zac doing most of the sawing, and all of the skidding.
We have enjoyed our peek behind the old iron curtain, and even more, seeing our lives through the eyes of Radek. He has traveled widely, is fluent in six languages, has experiences as playwright and theatrical performer, is a voracious reader, and is comfortable with hard work and simple living. His direct questions and honest observations often made us pause, and for our part, we took him to a cattlemen's dinner and dance, a biker-bar on live music night, twice,(Ryan was performing) a night of community theatre, and Zac kept him buried in rounds of wood to split.

The trio headed south this morning, and especially with Eric away at farrier school and Sarah in Las Vegas, the ranch seems a little empty. Empty, that is except for the 40+ cords of dry madrone firewood piled in all the flat spots around my shop! A great start on our season!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

There's Something Special About Horses

I think today is a day for thinking. My ponderings really began last night though as we left our local restaurant/bar. We had a nice mexican dinner and then sat in the bar area for awhile listening to the live music and visiting with a few folks gathered there. As we came outside to leave, Radek, (our new Czech Republic friend) noted that , "some people just make life harder on themselves." So true. And here in Humboldt, especially Southern Humboldt, it often seems that there are a higher percentage of people who are doing just that. Then today, while reading a neighbor's blog, I was directed to this link and read a very sobering article on actual statistics from this area on teen drug use and teen death. I shouldn't have been so surprised at how much higher our rates are. But I somehow was. It is so incredibly beautiful here and and the air pure and the sun light so bright, and yet I often feel such a heavy pall of darkness in this area that I lie in bed at night and just pray for the darkness to part. Secrets lie amidst these hills. We never really blog about these things do we? We make it seem lovely and it is and yet this area has does have many hard problems and broken lives. I am not sure if we have ever mentioned before that we moved here primarily because we felt led by God to come. We feel called to help bring light and restoration to lives and in our own small way we try. As many others in this area do too. It's not that we have any special abilities to heal or restore, but we know this place and our lives are full of grace and blessings and we must share these. And yet sometimes we dream of doing more, something perhaps a little bigger than ourselves. One dream that we have had for a few years is to begin a free riding program here on the ranch for kids of all ages. We even attended a training clinic in Oregon at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. Here we met the Wades, who if you are a regular reader have probably seen their comments before. They are a wonderful family out in New Mexico bringing pure joy to kids with thier free horse program, now entering their second year. Maybe someday we will be able to offer something like that here too. Because there is something about horses that helps. I'm not sure why, but I know it is true. Like Yesterday when Jo and I went for wonderful ride. We left a little flustered and tired and returned renewed. It was beautiful, sunny and warm and her horse and mine really seemed to enjoy the day, but she and I did immeasurably more. She brought to words what I often feel when she said, "I feel so centered whenever I ride my horse". Yes, indeed Jo, there is something centering about horses. Something that definately helps. Something that maybe we can begin sharing with more people. As we look to the future we ask you join us in pray and thought about this.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ride Along

...and then the camera battery died and I fell in....
The End
just kidding about the falling in part

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekend Visitors

This weekend we had many guests arrive. Our oldest, Zac, drove up from the bay area with his friend, Ryan, who doesn't normally sport a cowboy hat, but here he was getting ready for going to our cattlemen's dinner last night. Ryan brought along his new acquaintance from the Czech Republic. He is visiting the states to study. He is getting his Phd. in Theatre, and has been living in San Fransisco with his cat Chemy who he brought along to the ranch as well. It has been very interesting to hear some of his family's story and also some of the projects he has worked on as well as his plans for a future documentary. Here at the ranch we have been so blessed to have had many visitors, but I think he wins for being the one from the farthest away.Anna and Kaitlyn surprised me on Friday night. I wandered into our darkened home after grocery shopping to see some dark shadows on the love seat. Quickly, I turned on the light to discover two teenage giggling girls. What could be more fun? Yesterday we had a lovely day of getting stuck, picking up firewood, moving panels and other squandry and varied chores as well as taking time to go on a quick horse ride. They got another giggle out of their mounts varied sizes. It is kind of cute, the whole mini me thing going on!
The wild and wooly sheep never seem to know what is going on as Mark and I didn't really either when we got home from our dinner last night and found the following photos on our computer.

Hmmm...!? I think the girls played a prank up at the cabin.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Ritter

It was Ritter's 2nd birthday today, but as he tells it, "I two old"

We hope you had a great day Ritter. Love, Gumpa and Gumma

Cloudy Skies

What do you think this is?

It was the sky a couple of evenings ago right before the storm hit.
Here is a photo of Flower eating flowers right before she fell out of the back of the Kubota and onto me! Silly goat. Silly me.

I tell you something strange has been in the air the last few days. Mark is still sick, although he hasn't thrown up now for about 16 hours, still gagging, mind you, but no real action. Eric the Bold had plans to drive to Missouri (yes, we know it is 2000 miles away) to some farrier school and his truck broke down. So we loaned him our spare truck that we just had a couple of thousand dollars of work done on. It should be good to go we thought. Yet a few hours down the road this morning, in the wee hours of the morning I might add, he called broke down. Soooo, now we will have another truck to fix, and who knows if Eric will really continue on his journey. And last, but certainly not least ( joking, sort of), I went to the mall and to the hair salon for a trim and I came out with a cut, and not a very good one at that. Usually I just trim my own hair, but this time I thought I would go to a professional, Ha. Ha.

Well, I am sure that sunnier days are coming. Like this one that we had a few days ago, before the storm blew in. Peace out.