Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Bull Ride

For the last couple of weeks we haven't been able to find our two youngest bulls, Jacob and Lou. We have driven the ranch roads numerous times looking for them but with no luck. We weren't too terribly worried though because both were missing (how likely is it that 2 bulls would get hurt or sick at the same time). There was also a group of lovely bovine ladies that we hadn't seen in a while either, so we figured that they were all together somewhere enjoying the spring grass and were just too lazy to come when we honked and hollered.

Since today dawned lovely though, we decided that right after church we would go for a horse ride and find those bulls. And we did. We also found those missing cows. They were all fat and happy and enjoying the sun. I love a happy ending. Don't you?

As for our ride, Mark rode Sweet William and I rode Buddy. Both geldings were incredibly slow and sleepy. It must have been the sunshine or the boys might have been being especially careful. In the last couple of days we received over 5 inches of rain. That definitely can make for a slippery slope! Buddy though, not only walked slow but he had the hardest time walking a straight line. I kept singing the drunken sailor song to him! I don't really think he was drunk or dizzy or anything though, I think his wayward walking was because he was trying to pick the smoothest trail , as he is without shoes for the first time in 2 years! Yippee. We like our horses to go barefoot at least part of every year and I am glad that finally Buddy can as well. Buddy has had a tenacious quarter crack and has had to wear a bar shoe, but now it appears that his hoof is 'all better'. He has been barefoot for a little over a month, with no return of his crack, but to be on the safe side we are going to re-shoe him when things begin to dry out here in a month or two.

Awww, another happy ending. Enjoy your week.

I bet you thought this post was going to be about a real bull ride, huh?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rainy Day Poem

green hill
bare branches
fruited with robins
liquid comets
trailing white ribbon

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mossy Oak Clarification

A few weeks ago we posted a photo of a tree that looked to be in bloom. But it wasn't. It is the moss that the sun highlighted. Pretty cool, huh?
The moss on a bare tree is quite lovely. Here is a close up of the same tree. But not quite as dramatic without the sun and the dark background.These following two photos were taken out of our barn door. In these photos you can again see the moss.
I felt like playing around so I turned this one black and white. Now the moss looks like ice or snow covered trees.Just a little clarification for all you folks who might think we were in full bloom in February. We're not. Although this little pink flowering quince is letting her light shine.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eric and Johanna's Intimate Family Wedding

The wedding was held on February 21st, beginning at 4 pm at the lovely,
historic, Benbow Inn.
It was awesome in its old world charm.
My oldest son said the place reminded him of Hogwarts
from the Harry Potter series.
Eric and his best man, his brother, before the ceremony.
Our son-in-law, Donnie, seems captured by the sparkle of the ring.

The bride being assisted by mother and maid of honor, her sister.
They were housed in a lovely cottage on the grounds and right above the sparkling blue river.

Shoe time....or is that Show time!

The ceremony.
In the Hunt room.
With a backdrop of ephemeral curtains made by
the mother of the bride.
All suspended on a trellis built by the groom
out of lumber he milled the day before,
decorated by the ladies in the wedding party...
It was beautiful with candlelight flickering and with sprays of blooming plum and green huckleberry branchesgathered from the ranch.
A violinist played.
Then outside they hurried for photos amidst the setting sun.
They only have eyes for each other.
Ahhh. So sweet.

Dinner was served in the dining hall.
A special wedding menu to chose from:
Steak, Steel Head Trout, Game Hen, or Fettuccine.
Red and White Wine
and Sparkling Cider.

Toasts made by the siblings and fathers.
And then, "Let them eat cake!"

And bubbles and kisses.


Tearful goodbyes.
Last minute instructions.

Good night!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I had to share this photo that we took on our anniversary. Every year I throw on my old hippie wedding dress and this year we set the camera up in the window of our rented room at the coast and just randomly took a shot. We didn't even know if we were in the frame correctly, or when the camera was finished. We just stood their gazing into each others eyes, then we began to ask each other if we thought it took, and then we started laughing. I mean how long can you hold a pose? Eventually we figured it had to be done. Wow. We couldn't have planned it better. Providence.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What is Love?

Really let us know what you think.

Because love is a hard thing to describe.

Is it that warm fuzzy feeling you get when your eyes meet?
Is it waiting up late at night to be sure they get home ok?
Is it that connection that holds your thoughts?
Is it wanting more for them than for yourself?

Is it unconditional?

Is it eternal?

We hope so, we think so. We live our life banking that it is.

Today, by the way, is our anniversary. We got engaged at Christmas, 1980, and were wed 2 months later. Apparently, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree because Eric and Johanna got engaged at Christmas and are getting married next Sunday. Today was taken.

Happy Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dream Job

Mark and I were entrusted with a dear friend's first novel. She wants us to tell her what we think and give her any suggestions as to correct terminology and such. For you see, it is set on a ranch in Northern California that is in the path of a forest fire. Yes, it could have been here and I will tell you that I told her a little funny story about myself that kind of set her creative juices flowing. So I guess in some ways our story was her inspiration. But her story is not our story and her heroine is not me. But I wish she were.
At first it was hard to begin reading. Because, like I said, while some elements are the same the story is not our story. It is purely a work of fiction. And to be honest, I also worried, "what if it isn't any good?" Ohhh, but it is. And now that we have been captured by the character's world we know longer compare it to ours. I love this story and am in awe of our friend who accomplished what many only dream about. She is not only an incredibly gifted blogger, but she is a novelist!
When it is available for the general public you can be sure that I will let you know. Until then though, we get to keep the lively characters and the beautiful scenery almost all to ourselves.
p.s. (In fact, what you see in Tammie's hands is the hot off the press PRINTED version... we struggled for days to hand the lap top back and forth and to find and re-find our place. There is just something about holding a book in your hands... And as I send her post to blogger, Tammie is soaking in the tub, reading and re-living the experience which, passed to a writer, became a novel. )

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Sunny (not bowl) Sunday

Photo taken previously, posted here for the viewing pleasure of those who have not yet met
Abe or who like Mizz Wade
always wants a photo. (really though, because we forgot to take the camera again.)

Today was a gorgeous day on the ranch. I wish I had thought to take my camera, but we exited the house pretty fast when our friend Bill the preacher arrived to talk to Johanna and Eric about their wedding. We figured they didn't need us in the mix, so we snatched the preacher's son, Abe, and headed out to feed some cows.

I have to tell you that Abe is one of our favorite kids. He has visited many times before and likes nothing better than to be outside communing with the animals. The animals all seem to love and trust him and his heart of gold. At Christmas he got some wranglers and cowboy boots and he always wears them. Nothin cuter than a eight year old in cowboy gear. ( Come to think of it, the effect may just be ageless. ) Today he had on his rubber boots though because of all the mud.

We headed out to the west ridge to feed the 40 or so head that live out there. The mud is getting a little thick around the mangers, so we parked the truck on the gravel road and we carried the hay by hand to the feeders. Mark and our friends April and Brian worked on one manger that was further away while Abe and I filled up the one closest. First couple of trips went ok, but then we had to walk down and fill up the farthest (deepest) end.

It was deep doo-doo and we got stuck. Our feet were anchored, really. And we could hear the cow's bellows coming closer. And closer. We had passed them a half mile back, honked and hollered to let them know we were bearing gifts, and they were racing each other to the feeding area. I was trying to hurry Abe and myself along, mostly because it made things more exciting but also because you never know for sure that some alfalfa crazed cow might actually not see us, or not be able to stop in time, or be pushed by her over zealous sister bovine. I knew that some of the cows come in at about 20 miles per hour and do a sliding stop at the mangers. I also knew first-hand that the footing was unreliable. Hurrying didn't seem to help though. The more I hurried the more stuck we became. It reminded me of the chinese finger cuffs... the harder you pull the tighter they get. I pulled hard on Abe's hand and out he plopped but then all that energy had to go somewhere and down he went into all that mysterious black goo. I couldn't help it, I began laughing so hard and he is a happy kid so he laughed too. At least his boots remained on his feet! I think he fell two or three more times. The cows were just coming over the nearest hill when we finally managed to wallow out of that mud.

Poor Abe had one hand and arm completely covered as well as the backside of his jeans. We walked over to the water trough and washed our hands up and rinsed our boots off in a little stream. I was still chuckling about the experience when I realized that Abe had gotten a sad look on his face. Apparently, he was upset that he was going to have to take his wranglers off when he got home. He was fine with the" mud" in his boots. Totally unconcerned about the near trampling. Excited by the pronouncement that "you will have to ride in the back of the truck on the way back. Even a little proud of our adventure, but very bummed at the prospect of a day without his wranglers. Perhaps he should be in an advertisement or something. :) "You can ALWAYS tell the real cowboy... you just can't tell him much."

P.S. Abe told us that the saints were going to win. And wanted to know if we were on his side or not. But then again what would you expect from a preacher's kid?

P.P.S Mark now owes Abe 1 mountain dew!

Friday, February 5, 2010

When the Cousins Come to Call

When the cousins come to call we put them to work and we talk their ears off. We do. We do it with all of our visitors really, but recently Mark's cousin Rick and his wife Brenda detoured on their pilgrimage to Bakersfield and we made a special case of them.

We promptly put them to work loading wood

and feeding critters.Mark took Rick on a wood delivery " over the river and through the woods". While the delivery was made to just behind that closest ridge you can see in this photo, it takes about an hour and half on the main road. And the story goes that taking the shortcut on the return journey almost proved to be more than they bargained for as their tires hardly even spun as they slipped and slid down this cut off. This is the same road that Mark took guests up on last year and had use a winch to navigate. Does Mark never learn? Does sliding down seem safer than winching up? Or perhaps he just likes to keep things exciting for visitors.

I took Brenda on a nice sedate tour of the ranch in our little orange Kubota. I did make her help me load the hay though. I was just coming down with a cold and she took pity on me and lent her muscles to moving the hefty 125 pound bales.She took some lovely photos along the way and she shared them with me so I could share them with you.

Here is the pond at the cabin,a little creek we passedand standing firewood with the gleaming skin of the madrone

We enjoyed having the cousins come to call. Not only did we get to catch up on all the latest comings and goings in our lives, we got free labor and we even got some cold, hard cash for some fence posts we sold them. Thanks guys.

Now we are planning a motorcycle trip to their ranch this June. They live on the forks of two major rivers in far northern Washington State and the King Salmon should be running then.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I don't know what is going on with either blogger or my computer, but I can't seem to post photos. I really want to blog today with some neat photos that our recent guests took, but I can't seem to do it and my frustration level with the intended post is making my miserable cold more miserable and I have decided to just call it a day.

I will tell you though that it is raining here, with gale force winds predicted along the ocean and we just had a 6.0 magnitude earthquake centered off of the coast between Petrolia and Ferndale. It was probably one of the longest lasting earthquakes I have experienced, but it didn't feel too strong here in our house. After the initial jolt it kind of felt like being on water and it wasn't too disturbing. No damage to report.