Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dog Collar

Memorial weekend guest all tuckered out sporting the latest in fashion.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Someone brought these home from the feed store. The feed store guys know us on sight by name and number (see title) and assured him that I would love them.

After picking my chin up off the floor, I do! But what in the world am I going to do with ducks? Give them a bath, of course.

They're currently on sale at Nilsens in Eureka. Buy 2, and get one free. Hurry on in now and tell them 5150 sent you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Main Characters

As I mentioned before, our friend, Rachel Devinish Ford, finished her novel and it is currently available for purchase on Amazon, and as a nookbook from Barnes and Noble and in various e- book formats on smashwords.

I randomly chose some little snippets to give you a taste of the main characters. While these characters might not live a fleshed life I think you will recognize the life within them being true.

Molly- The sun was setting. The colors through the smoke were otherworldly, the sun seemed to be bleeding as it left the sky, watery oranges, reds, and tired purples. The sky was bruised. She shivered. Her stomach was still so tight, it seemed pulled together with fear. Her thoughts were all over the place.

Molly's husband Jack- He grabbed a t-shirt that was draped over the nearest chair, pulling it over his head and hopping into a pair of long shorts. He didn't know many ranchers who wore shorts on a workday, but he was an accidental rancher, one who'd grown up on the beaches of San Diego. He inherited all of this mess, loving it almost as much as he felt like an oversight, a failed experiment in surfer relocation. He really wouldn't want his mother-in-law to find him sleeping.

Molly's mom, Catherine- ...she sat down, smoothing her hands over her slacks. So many veins had swum to the surface of these old arms. Why had she become so transparent? It would be so much better if her skin became tighter, more opaque, concealing her as she headed towards death. She could use a murky covering, especially now, when she didn't have her home to hide her. Whenever she was a guest in someone elses's home, the ripples of daily patterns smoothed away and she was left clear as water.

and.....JEFE' : He is a little donkey who is in many of the chapters and while he may not be a main character, he is endearing and he even postponed the release of the book a bit as he wandered off of its pages and had to be herded back in. He is special to me too, because I think our own little Macho might have been the inspiration for his birth.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Trails

We've been away.... visiting. Our daughter and grandson met us in Fresno, Ca for a week of

taking the grandbaby from house to house of relatives. He was a little trooper.

We also attended the college graduation of our son's fiance and the bar-b-que celebration after wards that included bocci ball with oranges, no less.

And we went wedding dress shopping. She found the dress, but this isn't it.

And attended an engagement party and 'after the party party' for our son and soon to be daughter in law.

We are fatigued. Too much celebrating, but not too much baby. Never too much baby. But all good things come to an end and we are home and the horses all came out to greet us.

This guy with the birds is Sequoyah. His second birthday is coming up at the end of the month. He is a tank with an incredibly good disposition. Unflappable. Soon to begin formal training.

Mustang Buddy had to stop my car for some scratches and to breathe in my nose to make sure it really was me.

And Sweet William lived up to his name by giving me some of his terrific hugs. It is good to be home and tomorrow I will ride. I always miss riding the horses when I am away.

Happy Trails to you.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Work in the City

If I lived in the city
I would be a gardener
Who works in the cool of the day
Before many people are stirring
And the shadows stretch
Listening to the song birds sing
And the mourning doves coo.

My pants would stain green on the knees
From kneeling before the throne of nature
Co creator with God in order and right
I'd mow everything down to an even height
And sculpt the shrubs in the way they should go.

And I would give lime green and silver pens
To those who walk by.

If you live in this area code, he had a nice smile.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Running Horses

Turned our horses out and they had a good time. Do you see the paint out front? She is new to the herd and I think that encouraged the run about. Her name is Belle and she is Eric and Jo's new consignment project. She hasn't been ridden in a couple of years, but so far she is doing great.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Greening

We had a crazy dusting of snow yesterday. Johanna and Eric had just planted there vegis and they made a mad dash out to cover up the plants with pots. How can the weather go from 70's to 30's in a blink of an eye?

Besides yesterday's snow though everything is coming up green.

The ferns.

The grass.
The trees. I love the way the end of the fir branches looked dipped in lime green. That is new growth and it happens every year, although it seems to me that it is a bit later this year.

In case you are wondering....This is one long three-quarter inch diameter wire rope cable. This is the stuff choker cables are made of to pull logs out of the forest. There is about 200 yards of cable hanging there so it doesn't get rusty. Why, you may ask, do we have 200 yards of cable hanging on our fence? This is the question I asked my husband recently and the answer is a bit humorous.

Apparently, or so he remembers, way back in yonder years when our friend Jerry and Mark's dad first got this place, there was a log way down the hill by the creek that they wanted to get. Jerry drove the 977 CAT down the hill to fetch it and was unable to bring the log back up and then he realized he was unable to bring the CAT up either. And the CAT had no winch. What were they to do? They tried borrowing neighbor Gil's D-7 to go down and bring up the stuck CAT, but as flat landers, they were unsuccessful. So they got this big spool of cable and were going to make a pulley system to bring the CAT up. They were going to use the D-7 as a weight going down the hill on the cable to draw up the 977 on the other end of the cable. Luckily, for them, Gil showed up and catskinner that he is, successfully used his CAT to bring up the other CAT. And the cable has hung on that fence ever since. Cable anyone?

Saturday, May 14, 2011


a t-post with a slide hammer t-post driver/remover. It sounded a little bit different because this type of driver can also be used to remove t-posts which is a good thing when you put one in and hit a rock or it goes crooked.

Good guessing Lodgepole, Mikey and Bill.

Here is a photo of a section of patched fence. Mark wasn't too proud of it, but it will work just fine. Last year we had 2 young horses (Meeme and Sequoia) who tried to jump this low spot and got injured. We (said very loosely as I mostly watched) backed up all of the old rotted posts with tall t-posts and added another strand of wire. Someday, we will have to quit patching, but for now, it's good enough and looks a heck of a lot better than all of the little yellow caution tape flags I had flying on it warning the horses of danger.
Ok, who knows what these are? They are hanging on another section of our horse pen.

(this is a partial repeat of a previous post that disappeared yesterday during some 'oops' blogger was having, did anyone else lose posts?)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's a Book!

I want to sing, I want to dance. I feel like I just caught a brand new baby that burst forth into the world. I am excited to say the least. A bit surprised at how excited I am. My friend, Rae, just sent me the proof copy of her novel, The Eve Tree. She is currently living in Nepal and it just made more sense to keep it state's side.

Mark and I have been blessed by being a little bit involved in the 4 years of this book's creation. I originally gave her a little seed of an idea for the story (although I had no idea at the time) when I told her how I sat in the bath tub with a glass of wine, while firefighters were busy at work all around our cabin during our 2003 Canoe Fire. That image somehow struck a chord with her and a story began to grow. Later, she had us read the second draft and then later specific chapters for insights and to make sure she didn't make any glaring mistakes. This is not a book about our fire though, although there are bits of reality here and there. It is simply a wonderful story about a woman finding her place in the world and was mostly created in the mind of our friend. Amazing. Awesome. I am spell bound. Does every book go through this process?

I feel a bit like a midwife and I am very proud of the new mama, aka author, and her prodigy. She did good. (Good thing I didn't write the book, huh?) I can't wait to buy a whole truckload (maybe a slight exaggeration) of books to offer to all my friends and family and strangers on the street. Until then here is a sneak peak at the real live book. The cover was designed by her superstar husband, Chinua. Cool, huh?
If you follow our blog, you probably remember the Ford family. If not, you can see them here and here and here. And you could also learn more about their lives and the amazing author on her blog, journeymama.com

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ranch Gossip

We've been bad bloggers. ( I say we although the Mark, of Tj and Mark, has been absent from here for quite some time.) I think we are just all blogged out. Life on the ranch has its routines and nothing seems to be quite fresh enough to blog about anymore. Perhaps it is just a slump I'm in.

We have been busy though. This week we went to our pen pal tea party. Each year we are pen pals with selected students from a local school and at the end of the year we get to meet them. Mine had drawn some lovely pictures for me. I plan on framing this one as I like the incongruity of the barb like brown leaves with the cheerful flower.

My starts have been potted into larger containers. These are flowers.
These are vegetables.
These are supposed to be zinnias but something nipped them right off. Bad bug or slug.

Dead gopher. We are inundated with gophers. Our whole back area (can't say lawn, it is really just a holey field and orchard) is full of them. I feel bad for the little diggers. They are so industrious and resourceful and happy munching on our growing potatoes, but they have to go. I've posted signs stating that their lease is up and they need to move out, but so far there haven't been any who listened.
Molly has been helping me with the gardening. I have her penned up separate from the other horses because she is very herd bound and each day I have been riding and working with her trying to smooth down some of her rough edges and I have been letting her graze a bit in our back yard, I mean field. I have to admit she has been trying at times, I think we are really just too much alike (bull headed) but we're making improvements. I haven't called her a bad name for the last 2 days and she has only given me a few dirty looks. If looks could kill I'd be dead.

Mark picked up a camera at Costco that has better zoom that my old one. I like the zoom quality, but haven't got the settings right yet as my photos don't have the same crispness or color as before. Here is a valley quail I believe. Although it could be a mountain quail, I get them confused.

Perhaps you remember Tate, Eric's friend who often lives on the ranch with us cutting firewood? Well, Tate moved on to greener, and MUCH larger pastures, as he is cowboying for a big ranch now, but his parents came up to celebrate their 26th anniversary this week. I think they had a good time.

Just as the flowers are beginning to burst forth across these hills the buck's antlers are beginning to sprout too. Now if I could just sprout some new ideas for our blog, or the other writing I have been working on.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Watchin' and listenin' 's the thing at present, not talking."

Said by the cabby while Aslan was creating Narnia.

-from the Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis