Saturday, August 29, 2009

Almost September


The breezes taste

of apple peel.

The air is full

of smells to feel-

Ripe fruit, old footballs,

Burning brush,

New books, erasers,

Chalk, and such.

The bee, his hive,

Well-honeyed hum,

And Mother cuts


Like plates washed clean

With suds, the days

Are polished with

A morning haze.

-John Updike

Out walking yesterday under a cloak of clouds and a dribble of rain I realized how fleeting summer was. The buckeye trees (above photo) and the maples are turning yellow, the grass is completely golden and beginning to get short from all the cows grazing, apples are falling and the morning has a briskness not felt for a while.

I am not ready for summer to be over because it feels like it barely begun. Our summer was busy. It seems like there was always something to do or somewhere to go. Lots of firewood cut by the men, gardening and guests tended by me. I remember fondly back to childhood and the endless open summers that I enjoyed. I was a privileged child who had little to no chores. Spoiled brat really, but aah, those were the days. Skinned knees and sun burned skin, cool water and riding with friends. Watermelon, peaches and apple pie, sitting out under a star filled sky.

Now fall's door is just opening and we await the first calf's arrival, begin feeding until the rains bring up new grass, Mark makes countless trips up and down the road delivering firewood, I plant the fall/winter garden, harvest apples and pears and hope for grapes (they don't look too good this year) and I also begin another online college course. Someday when I grow up I might actually get a degree! Actually, I take classes mostly for enjoyment and mental stimulation. It is easy to let one's mind go the way of a lazy body. And while I might let the old body get a little flabby, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Or so somebody once said!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Blue Eyed Beauty

A while ago I posted about an injured horse I was tending too. She has hence been named Charity Rose and has been moved onto our property against our better thinking, but at the leading of our hearts. Poor, pitiful little thing. We just got the official diagnosis for her hip problem and she has a broken pelvis. We suspected something serious. The vet says that within 4 to 6 months it will heal although it is healing crooked. One hip is a couple inches higher than the other. He says she will not have pain and will eventually be suitable for light riding. We had some folks lined up who wanted to adopt her, but I am afraid that after this prognosis they have all backed away from taking her. So now we have the dilemma of deciding what to do.

As I mentioned before, she will be number 13 in the number of equines on the ranch and that is absolutely CRAZY~ how did this happen!? It seems ludicrous to think of keeping her, and yet, she is so sweet and gentle and loves attention of wee little hands that we just hate to put her down. And it might just break old Charlie's heart. Yes, that old fart decided he wasn't too old after all for a little courtin'. He spends most of the day nuzzling her and keeping himself between her and the fence that separates them from the other horses. It is wonderfully cute and yet probably not a good enough reason to save her. But then again....
So for right now, she stays. Tommorrow we will see.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bye, Bye Goat

Well, apparently my hubby gives and he takes away.... what a power monger. LOL.

Last January for my birthday he got me a billy goat to romance my female goat, Flower. I loved my sweet big boy and couldn't have asked for a nicer goat. Now, after complaining and gagging and all around being miserable with my male goat's cologne, which, by the way, I couldn't seem to smell, my hubby took him on a road trip to a nice goat dairy where 200 females awaited. I have to admit the old billy goat was pretty happy. His eyes glazed over and he curled his lip as if to smile.

Flower was a little sad to see him go for he had romanced well while he was here and she has 2 kidds to show for it and some more on the way, and he was also the perfect kiddsitter. The old goat liked to lay around in the barn and nap while the kidds scampered around . My birthday present served his purpose well, but he will be missed a some.
Bye, Bye Goat! Called Pollen, Frank and Little Man. May you always have a head wind.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nobody Cares.... according to Mike!

Our nephew and his family came for their annual visit. The Daddy likes to drive around in the Land Cruiser looking for bucks to stick his arrow in. The kids like to ride quads, swim and just have an all around good time. The Mom does mommy things. You know what that means.... clean, cook and bandage up skinned knees. Emma decided that her daddy didn't drive to good. So here she takes a try at it. She is cute as a button, isn't she?
Hi, says Mike. My sister's trying to kill us. YIKES!
Brandon says this is the dumbest face he ever made, but he thinks his sister is pretty cute in the photo so it is ok to post it.
Here is the cutie again, riding Charlie. She loves all the animals on the ranch and the ranch dogs have been spoiled all week by little treats and lots of petting!

Mike riding Charlie with no hands. He also crossed a little creek while riding and Charlie jumped it, boy was Mike surprised. But he stayed on. Good job Mike!

Brandon wearing his Uncle's black hat for the requisite photo shoot. Cool!

Brandon rides the trails all by himself.
One of the challenges they had all week was trying to catch the baby goats that I refuse to get attached too. I think they did eventually convince the kidds to let them pet them. I think treats might have been involved. It is always all about the treats!

And the dad did get his buck.....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Got Wood?

There has been a lot of busy woodchucks working on the ranch. There are piles of thier industry everywhere. Here is a photo of the largest pile and our two resident chucks: Tater Chuck and Eric the Bold Chuck.Zac Chuck and his friend after a hard day of chucking! This is not an easy way to make a living and is not for the weak of mind or body. Well, perhaps mental weakness might actually be beneficial!
It has just been announced that after 2 years of holding the price at $300 per cord delivered (2 cord minimum), the price will be raising to $310 a cord for all orders placed after October 1st. If you live in So. Hum and haven't got your firewood for this season give us a call at 599-0516.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Johanna Rising

A music fest called Reggae Rising has been going on all weekend down along the South Fork of the Eel River and we could actually hear some of the music on the top of the ranch, even though it was happening 20 miles upstream. This is an outdoor music festival that draws around 15,000 world music fans who dance, play and party along the river.

In honor of this annual event Johanna dressed accordingly. She seemed just a tad overdressed to clean the cabin for our next guests and buck hay, but she is just that kind of gal... always setting the tone.... even cool enough to wear a scarf in summer.
This was Johanna's 4th year to grace the ranch by choosing to celebrate her birthday here. This year turning 19. Look out world!

Happy Birthday Jo Jo!