Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Horse Riding Update(s)

On the Left is Sami with Doc, on the Right is Toby with Ernest
Toby is actually my horse. But he does not like women.
I found out the hard way.
Dick rides him now.

Sami & Doc
Doc is awesome. I love this horse. And he smells so good!
Love horse musk.

Jake & Blackie
Blackie is the kid's pony.
He was a Christmas present many years ago!
I'll have to find that photo. The kids are really small on him!


Dogs, Horses, Crew
Ernest, the dog on the right, is actually retired (he sleeps a lot).
Ernest loves to go with the horses! He was 'on it'.
He got off his retired dog rear and would not take no for
an answer. He went with the crew and worked.

How I work my Anxiety
Pit by pit. Cherry pie.
OH! And I did buy a cherry pitter!
I still think there must be an easier way!!!


OK.. the Horse Back Riding/Working Recap:

So... the kids and Dick started on Sunday about 10:30 am getting the horses ready.. For some reason they still were not ready by noon, so they 'undid' the gear, tied up the horses under trees, ate lunch, napped, then, started over at about 2:30 pm.

I did notice that during the morning process there was a whole lot of prep work going on. Horse trimming, practice riding, learning to saddle up, etc... Basically a whole lot more work than was probably anticipated by you know who...

So.... when the crew went back out, saddled up again, and took off down the road in the horse trailer, I worked out my frustrations... I made a pie. Cherry pie.. all from scratch, which is my way...

Everyone came back safe and sound at 4:30pm. A quick trip I thought. They all settled in at the table to warm pie, ice cream and lemonade. Then, we talked.

Dick was mad. The kids held there heads down for a bit, but they did tell me later (after Dick left) that they did like being with the horses. Thank Goodness... Dick had shared that nothing went right. They were supposed to be sorting cattle, in a field, meaning, cutting out about 5 steers from the rest of the bunch and it just was not working. Hello. I know experienced adult riders that can not do this. Horse experience is one thing, cattle experience another. Two opportunities for learning here. But what do I know. I am a city girl.

So, Dick informed me that 'we have a new rule'. The rule is the kids can not play on computers or watch TV (without us) unless they have worked with the horses for at least an hour.

Guess what? Yesterday, Jake wanted to ride at 8 am. Woah! I am so glad the kids are NOT harmed by their experience (I obviously have the thinnest skin in this outfit). However, I did inform the kids they can not just go out and grab a horse and play (which Dick said was just fine). I told them all of there other chores must be done, and second I have to be with them. No questions asked.

So, about 3:30 pm yesterday I helped them get the horses again, and ride. They rode bareback and boy, do they have lots to learn. Neither one could put the bridle on. And 'brushing' was a half-a**ed task for Jake. He missed lots of dirt!

It seems I do know a thing or two and can help teach the kids. And, I will be with the horses - more than I thought.

Which really, is not a bad thing. I want the kids to learn, in a safe environment, and have fun.

And, I might just attempt to ride Toby before it's all said and done. Toby is my horse. And who I have not 'spoken with' since the time he reared up behind me and smacked me in the back with his front right hoof and left a big nasty bruise.

And that, my friends is one reason I don't ride and a story I will save for later.



Sunday, July 27, 2008

Horse Back Confessions

I am not a cowgirl.

Meaning, my horse riding skills are very limited and I just don't ride. I did take lessons for a while, and loved it, but once I married my rancher husband, things changed...

It might have been his approach (nod head, 'yes, I have one of those too'). He's a 'just do it' kind of guy. Here's an example. 'Andi, just go out there and rope that calf and bring it back', said my husband. So, off I went. Never having roped. And I am a lefty. Which means my rope doesn't twist the way you righty's twist your ropes. The horse and I danced around for a while. Me swingin' the rope, the calf moving, the horse and I trying to get that calf.

I did not get the calf. I did get a sassy look from my husband. And a remark about 'what were you doing and where the heck is the calf?' No lessons. No help. However, I did adopt a personal snit fit attitude, marked with a 'that's the last time I ride with him' - huff. And it was. And it that was probably, oh, 9 or so years ago!

My husband does not get on a horse to just ride and enjoy the scenery, like I used to do. He's not the kind to say 'hey baby, wanna go check out the sunset on horseback?'
Nope. Horses are tools. You ride them when you need them and thats mainly to work cattle, or move cattle. They are not pets. You don't kiss them or whisper sweet nothings in their ears. (Hmmmm...make note to self)

Today the kids and my husband are going riding. I always get knots in my stomach when they do this.

Why?

The horses have not been ridden at all - all year.
They buck when they are like this
My kids are not experts
My husband doesn't care
My husband will tell them 'just do it'.

And it's my fault. My husband the horse expert says so. I should be teaching the kids to ride all summer. Me, the not so horse expert, the city girl.

Oh say a little prayer...

Last year I watched my son bounce off the back of Blackie.. The pony. My son who went 'backwards' smacked on the back of the horse then landed on the ground. Thank God in one piece and no injuries.... My son who does not pay attention or listen or watch out.

I sure hope my husband does.

Last year I had to come into the house when I saw them riding... They were coming home from the field and I was going to take photos of the romantic scene of the three of them, riding side by side.. beautiful. Then all hell broke loose. My son started screaming, he lost a reign, and a stirrup, and the pony took off with him. My husband chasing them. I could not watch. I came in and just prayed...

Lord, please hear my prayer.
Amen

Peace Be With You, Randy Pausch

A beautiful man has succumbed to pancreatic cancer. A man who hopefully, all of you had the chance to read about, hear, and learn from.

Randy Pausch died at the young age of 47. His legacy is his "Last Lecture", at Carnegie Mellon, where he was a Computer Science professor. I first heard about Randy via Oprah's XM radio station. Dr. Mehmet Oz will be replaying the interview with Randy, tomorrow, Monday, July 28th.

Randy wanted to make sure that he lived his life to the fullest, and 'left behind' a message in a bottle for his three young children through his writings and acts.

"But we don't beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well," said Dr. Pausch, who urged the graduates to find and pursue their passion. He put an exclamation point at the end of his remarks by kissing his wife, Jai, and carrying her off stage.


Peace be with you Randy as well as with your sweet young family.

May we all live well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Things We Do Before Breakfast

Irrigation 101
There are different types of irrigating. Flood or
sprinkler, and under sprinkler you have wheel lines, hand lines, big guns, and pivots.
On our place we flood irrigate, and have hand lines and wheel lines.

West End of Pipeline (Wheel Line)
It's about 7am.
We are in the field south of the house. This field is perhaps 200 acres.
We have a total of 1170 acres of 'grass' and pasture.
Our summer job is to grow grass for the critters aka sheep and cattle.
We water the grass, grow the grass, put the animals in,
let them graze and move them to more grass.

My husband leaves at 6am, and comes home at 8pm.
Well, he also comes in at noon for lunch.
He usually irrigates until about 10 am, then works livestock, or fence,
or other 'ranch stuff'. Then, he starts irrigating again about 5pm.


Farther Down the line
Now you are looking at hand line that is attached to the wheel line

The Entire AM Crew
Dick on the quad, about 5 dogs, and 2 kids
Sami & Jake move the hand line segments
at 7 am and 7 pm

Draining the Line
The line gets drained first, before moving pipe
That's my casa in the background

Moving Pipe
Team Sami & Jake
The real reason why most ranch kids don't get into trouble
They don't have time!


Sami At the Front of Pipe Segment
Sami has the sprinkler end
The kids are moving 23 segments of pipe

Jake at the End of Pipe Segment
Jake unhooks the pipe from the other segment, holds up the pipe
and drains any water.
Then they move to the next spot where the line
will be running for the next 12 hour set


A View of the Other End of the Line
The water line extends East & West in the field.
We are looking East
(but you knew that, right? It's morning, the sun is right over there, East)

Look West
Here comes the boss and two other crew members!
Dick meets the kids at 7am. He gets them started,
then takes off and comes back to see how they are doing

********************

Just thought I would share our summer morning routine:
  • 5 am: Dick & I wakeup. I prep the kitchen (make coffee, put out juice and fruit for the kids) - Dick does his stretches, eats, I stretch, I wander off - fold laundry, dust, get sidetracked (let's call this my zombee hour!)
  • 6:15 am: I wake the kids - they put on their work clothes and eat their fruit
  • 7 am: Kids go irrigate, I do my outdoor chores (free the chickens, trash, today I went out and took photos)
  • 7:30 am: I come back - Make the remainder of breakfast for the kids (today is French toast, with French bread) - put it into the oven. Do some housework (or blog, or get sidetracked with some other project!). This morning I am doing laundry, dusting, changed one light bulb, and uh, blogging. I did manage to get tonight's dinner into the Crockpot! Tip: a Crockpot does not put off as much heat as the oven!
  • 8:15 am: Kids come back from irrigating, then prep bottles and go feed the bummer lambs
  • 9:15am: An hour has gone by. I go looking for the kids. This morning I found them saving a baby gopher from the cats. They took the baby out into a field. I remind them that breakfast is waiting and they still have to do their other outdoor chores (cats, chickens, dogs)
  • 9:20 ish: Kids eat
Now it's 9:35 am.

My goals for today: Housework 2 hours, yardwork 2 hours, office work 2 hours, and a trip to town (if I get the recycling loaded up!)

I also took photos of the beef and some rotational grazing shots. I'll share those later!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Time Favorites

Summer View of the Sheep

I made this card for this last week's Hero Arts Blog challenge.
We were asked to make a card that captured what summer meant to us.
I got the bright idea to take my card outside for a photo shot, to actually capture my summer, then had lots of fun putting it in different places in the backyard!
I'm thinking I might take it to the markets this week, and to the water park tomorrow!
Getting some wild and crazy ideas here - to capture one week of summer...

Summer in the Grass
Our summers are all about grass and water.
Grass for the animals, grass in the yard, water for the grass, water for the animals.
Mowing grass.
Grazing grass.
We are grass farmers.

Summer Sitting in the bench by the Apple Tree
Sprinklers in the background, my favorite birch tree also in the back,
and the trampoline (not visible) is behind the bench.
You can barely see the wheel line sprinklers in the far background.
The kids are in charge of helping move those babies!

*********************

Ranch Log... Monday, July 21st.
High today is to be 90 degrees. Low 57.

'Summa' has officially landed!

I LOVE summer... not the 90 degree stuff that we will have today, but the fun part of summer. Summer for me is: Being outdoors, the smell of fresh cut grass, all the new baby critters, the kids playing and laughing, farmers markets, naked toes, fun bright vibrant colors, late to bed, not in a hurry to wakeup, fun breakfasts, pools, parades, parks ...drinking morning coffee on the deck, watching the moon at night. Plus, sneaking in a fishing trip, camping trip, and of course a city school shopping trip! Yep. Love me some summer.

Ranch Update:
The kids started their summer irrigating job this weekend. They are going out at 7 am and 6pm to help their dad move hand lines and wheel lines in the field south of the house (seen in photo with bench). I'll have to capture a photo of their 'work'. They are so tiny compared to the sprinker(s)! Patchie and I took the opportunity this morning to go for our run/jog while everyone was irrigating. The sky is very hazy. I think some fires must have hit yesterday. Yet, the run/walk was so nice..a great way to start the day. A perfect zen moment.

Vacation Day Update:
Well we missed last Wednesday's vacation day due to the boss having us work sheep again from 10 am until 2pm. Did I share that with you? I almost passed out. Got a serious dizzy spell (and nausea) from lifting those huge a** lambs (geeze, I think they are getting up to 5o lbs!)... Lifting one is 'ok', but one after another after another in the heat? And it's not just a 'bend over and lift' job. NO... It's a 'chase the lambs, get hit by the ewes and make your way over to the table with the big fat lamb. Anyway, there I was, lifting a lamb, hefted it up, and then held my breath so the fumes from the screwworm spray wouldn't make me sick. (I already had iodine in my face!). My heart must have been pumping too much and not getting oxygen. Poof! I was outta there! While I sat down to recover, in the 'safe' area, Jake got ran over by a ewe. He was face down in the corral. I was yellin' for someone to get him up so he would not get trampled by the rest of those nasty girls! Poor little buddy... he was crying.. after we were done, we went home. I still had to make lunch! So, it was 4pm when that was truly over. Gads. What a vacation day that was...

Oh .. so back to vacation days! So we took a rain check, which we cashed in yesterday! We hooked up with Michelle (BFF) and her kids (the twins) in Baker for the Miner's Jubilee festivities... aka, vendors, food, and duck raises. The kids bought polished rocks and gems, and I bought a tie dye wrap around short skirt and super cute bohemian dress and some new linens! A banner shop fest. My inner hippy chick always comes out in the summer!

Tomorrow we are going to the water park in Pendleton (1.5 hours away) again with M and the twins! I usually do these adventures all by my lonesome.. Yahoo! Another mom to hang with while the kids are doing their thing! What a treat to have a big person to talk to on the long drive! Hope to take lots of fun photos...

Have a great summer day!

Card Supplies/Recipe:
Hero Arts Stamps: Clear Design Month August (Sun, Fun, & Beach Umbrella used with Versamark as background).
Sentiment: SU stamp.
CS: WorldWin Double Mates Meri-Gold
Prima Flowers & Prima pp.
Buttons: SU
Ink: Ranger Distress
Pen: Spica


I created the background on the card stock with some of the stamps from the Hero Arts Clear Design Month 'August'.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fat Book Pages - Driven & Retro

Fat Book Page: Driven - Front View

For the Fat Book Swap, the first page is to be of a Driven Woman.
I chose Oprah. I pulled the photo of Oprah off the internet,
and touched her up in Photoshop. I gave her some golden highlights - she is a goddess, after all!
I ran some patterned paper through my printer and created the 'Oprah is Driven' background.
Once again I used the vellum from World Win papers for my quote and the images. Dang this stuff is awesome!!!


Driven - Back

Stamps used: Hero Arts Italian Poetry.
I heat embossed with Gold.

Fat Book Page: Retro (Women in Ads from the 1950's - 1970's)

This image came from one of Roni's helpful links! (Roni is the hostess of the Fat Book Swap).
I touched up this gal's necklace with a gold spica pen and added and a big ol' pearl.
She is a Diva, don't you think?
For each of the pages I added a funky retro pin. They are all different (my fave is one that says 'trophy wife'!).

Scan of Front and Back of the Retro Page

The back has some Glitter Mist sprayed on glossy card stock.
I also painted the edges (front) with some pearly MM paint!

Stamps used: Front 'You Go Girl' (from Michaels)
Back: Flourish from Purple Onion Designs, and Coco Chanel quote from Bella.


***********

The above are my entries for this months Fat Book Swap. As mentioned last month, we create 2 designs a month, 10 of each design. July is our second month and we have a total of 5 months!

The pages are 4x4 little collages/ATCs. Hopefully the other gals will start posting theirs so I can see them! It's fun to see everyone's take on the themes... One gal shared her Driven. She chose 'Driving Miss Daisy'! I had to laugh - that was my first choice as well!

To learn more about the Fat Book Swap, visit Roni at Inkstains! Be sure to click on her header to go to current posts as well. Roni gives tons of cool tutorials and product reviews! Right now she is sharing 'Mica'.

Catch you all later!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

'Home is Where the Heart Lives' - Creative Stuff

This is a little project I did during WSW '08 over at the 2peas Stampin' Message Board. The house is wooden. I painted it with some Making Memories paint, then added all sorts of 'fun' stuff! I haven't shared it with you yet, and there must have been a reason! This month's theme over at Sarah's Inkurable Stampers Blog is flourishes, and I am going to submit this for her challenge (flourish stamps used for chimney smoke & along the eaves of the house).

Note: Sarah also has super fun tutorials, product reviews and lots of fun art posted by amazing creators, such as herself! Be sure to go check it out.

RECIPE:
Stamps: Cornish Heritage Farms Primitive Beginnings (the salt box house, trees, and sentiment 'Home is Where the Heart Lives'; and Basic Grey Flourish Corners (the flourish coming out of the chimney, flourishes along the eaves, and little blossom at the base of the little house).
Patterned Papers: From K & Co's Ancestry Line (LOVE this paper!). The papers are on the chimney, under the smoke, the eves, under the saltbox house and the ground.
Rub-On: The sentiment 'We're Here for Each Other' also came from the K & Co. Ancestry Line - I modified it. There were more words...
Embellishment(s): Cute floral thing at top of house also from K & Co. Ancestry Line; Clear Fragment on chimney, that 'Home is Where the Heart Lives' stamped onto it is from Tim Holtz Idea-ology Line (adhered with SU Crystal Effects).
Inks: Midnight Blue Stazon, and Ranger/Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink.
Wooden House: Say It With Letters - (6inchhappyhome)


I don't know about you, but I've noticed all sorts of fun 'house' projects popping up!
Love Them!

Thanks for Looking!

In Line Skates





Each Wednesday the kids and I try to have Vacation Wednesday. It's our 'carve some time for us' during the summer vacation whirlwind. Living on a ranch equates to lots of projects, emergencies and 'easily falling into a working rut'. If you recall, last Wednesday was no exception! We had a fencing project to start the day with. Hmmm.. I should take a photo of our handy work!

Well, we did manage to 'split the scene' and get at least 2 hours of fun in! The kidlets attempted some inline skating. What a chore that was! First, we drove to the Leo Adler parkway/walkway (we have no pavement out here). It's a cool path along the Powder River. Perhaps too narrow for lessons!

WE have lots of practice to do for these skates! WE, because I get to hold those two kids upright on the tricky stuff! Next time will be in a parking lot!

So there you have it Auntie Paula! We did it! Thank you for the awesome skates!

As you can see, Jake has a few balance issues to work out..

After the skates came the scooters... Definitely a faster mode at this stage of the game! Then came Charlies Ice-Cream in Baker City. I'll have to get some photos of our favorite hang outs!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Date Night - A Recap

Mr. Sexton toasting with the featured local wine - Gillstrap Brothers
Red, of course! There were three reds, one a blend, a Merlot, and a Cab.
I went with the Merlot. We came home with 2 bottles!
Gillstrap Brothers is the wine that Mr. Sexton bought for my birthday.
Very tasty..

The Band - Summit Ridge (Blue Grass)
This band is hot! Oh what a great night -
outdoor dining, and listening to these guys play for 2 hours!

Saturday we had a date! One of those rare 'go out' evenings, without the kids, although somewhat work related, we called it a date anyway. Afterall, we ate, drank and caught some great music. A beautiful evening!

It all started with a little restaurant that was featuring our meat, for an outdoor event and promoting eating locally raised foods. The entire menu was comprised of local foods. We got the call on Tuesday from one of the band members, who then gave us to the restaurant. Yes, you heard that right, Tuesday before the event! Guts, I tell you...

Well, once a month, the owner of Hwy 30 (a little diner) features a dinner and band. The band picks the food. This band, which I just happen to LOVE because they play fairly often at the La Grande Farmers Market, picked 'us', as in Sexton Ranches Natural Lamb and Beef, to be the featured main course.

So, we worked out a few details - wheeling and dealing. And, as you can see, we even made it to the event! Hopefully they will get the kinks worked out in their even planning. It was a delightful evening, great menu, but oh so few people in attendance!

More for us!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some Photos From the 4th of July

The Start of the Haines Parade
This carriage was for the Grand Marshall. As you can see, there is a photo of our friend, Ron Perkins at the back of the carriage. Ron did not make the carriage ride. Ron died of cancer, the Monday before July 4th. His funeral was July 5th, which the kids and I attended. Not a dry eye at the parade my friends, not a dry eye.

Oh.. And that wagon atop the restaurant? Eye Sore!
THAT is our 'world famous' Haines Steakhouse, which for some reason the owners have not figured out that 'Curb Appeal' adds to the meal!
Come on guys, fix the dern wagon cover! For Pete's Sake!
Yer makin' us all look bad!

Kids waiting for the candy toss!
Small town goodness. We still throw candy.
Even though we shouldn't. So they say.
This is Sami and her husband to be
(sshhh! neither of them know it yet) Morgan, my BFF's son, one of the twins!
And this really is our town! Not a fake backdrop folks.
The real small town America.
Only 4 open businesses - 2 bars/restaurants, 1 post-office, 1 general store.
And the 'bad kids' alternative school. Bused in from the City.
Thank you very much.
(Don't get me started on THAT soapbox!)


Typical Parade Stuff - Awesome Old Tractors and Horse Apples
I do love the old tractors though!
I see in my camera I took about 15 photos of them!

Sigh. What's a mother to do?
Jake likes this kid. But this kid is so darn mouthy, and sneaky,
and all those things you hate to see your own kid mimmick..

My 4th Decor!
Whirlin' Whirly Gigs out by the mailbox.
Remember we had a few storms?
As in HUGE rockin' Thunder Bumper Storm and hail on the 4th?
My Whirly Gigs were found blown out and by the ditch.
Must have been a great whirly gigin' show!
I have a red pail with flags at the front door, which one of the lambs
decided was super tasty.



So there you have it. I Thought I would share a few snaps from the 4th O'July Parade. I still have to load the pool side ones from my camera!

Now, I am actually going to see if I can post this at a future date! I'm trying to save stuff for later the week. Today is Sunday the 13th and I'm going to attempt to have this publish on the 15th. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chicka Chicka Wah Wah!

Our Girls - Almost All Grown Up!
(there are three breeds)
I just call them the 'yellow ones' (Buffed Orphington), 'the red ones' (Rhode Island Red), and those 'funny looking puffy faced ones' (Aracana - which lay blue eggs)!
Interestingly, they hang out in their own little clicks by breed. Amazing, isn't it?
Social structures. Familiarity. Sisterhood!

And, Low and Behold! Our First Egg From The Chickas!
(the bigger eggs are from the bigger girls).


Chicka Update:
It was brought to my attention that I have left you all hangin' in regard to the chicks and their fate (thanks Barbara)! I have taken photos of their latest growth, so thought I would share with you how the girls are doing..give you a recap of their adventures to date, and share our latest discovery (today's surprise find - the first egg)!

Stage 1:
We started with about 21 chicks back in late April. If you recall, they stayed in the garage, in a cozy box with a heat lamp. The kids and I did all the box arranging, cleaning, moving, etc. A chore that I had hoped Mr. Boss Man would help with, but heck, the babies needed to let out of their itty bitty 'shipping' box! (and boy was it itty bitty)..

Stage 2:
After a few weeks of growth, the box got moved outside, so the chicks could roam in the yard during the day, and get couped up at night in their box. This stage is the 'let's see who is smart enough to survive' stage. We are now down to 17 'chicks. They are actually young hens now! My, have they grown. Well, the litter buggers discovered some great juniper bushes on the side of the garage, where they would 'hide out'. Each night about 8:30 pm, at bedtime, we had to call the chicks.. Our call is 'Chicka Chicka Wah Wah!'. Nice and singsongy and a bit loud. Most of the girls would come for a peek - then try and hide if we went to assist them. We started out having to catch them and stick them in the box! Over time, they go into the box on their own.

Stage 3:
Well, then the bummer lambs got moved outside 'during the day' as well. Each night the lambs were getting moved into their boxes in the garage. Well, if we were too late, the lambs decided the chick box was a cool bed to 'hang out in' until we got them. Great. One evening we found lambs in the box, sharing space with a few chicks. That 'hook up' scared me. I could just imagine a few chicks getting smooshed...

So onto the next move! The chicks then got moved to the big chicken house. After another project... Moving all the chick nesting boxes from one of the sheds over to the chicken house and setting up more roosts, and cleaning the dang house (another one of those mommy/kid projects). The chicken house got setup right after school let out - 2nd week of June. It took 'me and my crew' another 2 or so weeks to get the chicks actually moved. Sami and I had to catch every single chick - one by one - stick them in a dark bag, and carry them to the house, and let them loose.

Stage 4:
Chicks and Chickens and Rooster establish pecking order. Poor chickas! The big girls are mean to the little girls. Pushy broads. We kept everyone in the fenced in area during the day for about 3 days. After that, we open the pen door so the girls can be free-range (aka free yard and adjacent fields) cruisers! The chickas would be found hangin' at their old juniper digs the first week or so. And we had to 'herd them' back to the house each night. Ernest likes to help.

Stage 5:
Everyone is 'jellin'. Yep. Chickas and big girls and Mr. Doo (the rooster) are all hangin' - somewhat. There is still some peckin' going on, and everyone is still hangin' in their own little club as they move about in the yard, but at least they are living together.

OH.. Sami wants me to let you know that one of the chickas is called Puffer Cheeks, and another is Rocketa. Beats me how she knows who is who!

I'll keep you updated as to the egg production.

And, in case you are wondering about those missing chicks. Annie, the rotten female killer dog (who also attacked groucho) killed one of the chicks, for sure. She was busted. The 'girls' escaped from their kennel and went on a tare sometime ago.

The others we are not certain about. No one has been caught in the act.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Highs and Lows of This Last Week

Oh dear.. what a week!

4th of July Recap:
I left you with the 4th of July plans... We had a GREAT 4th! Did the parade, the pool, and BBQ and fireworks! All of us actually saw the fireworks for the very first time in the 9 years we have lived here! I do have some photos from during the day. I 'forgot' my camera - but had my cell phone. Then came the 'how to I get the photos to my computer' question. Gee whiz. I had to buy a special phone/computer cable during the week! Once I figure out all the camera online stuff, I'll share the photos.

Saturday:
The 5th started out sad. The kids and I attended a funeral for one of our neighbor friends who died of cancer. The service was beautiful. It was held at the Haines cemetery, and while we were waiting for the service to begin, the kids wandered around reading tombstones - which is one of historical things I tend to do. Ever been to a western/cowboy funeral? Cowboy poetry. Outdoors with our mountains around. A beautiful setting. A beautiful day. A great send off. Sigh.

We did attend the night rodeo. This was the first time Jake actually wanted to stay! He had fun - of course he made a few friends and ran around most of the time - within view. Good for him.

Wednesday:
Vacation Wednesday started out with a fencing project - orders from the Boss. The kids and I had to fence off a portion of a field/pen that the bummer lambs are now in. Not an ideal project, especially on the day that's supposed to be a play day. Another one of those 'mommy does the work' things. I now have a few extra scars as well. Summer legs are scratched up from wire cuts. Great.

Later that day I took the kids 'roller blading'. I do have photos to share. Later. These are for Auntie Paula - giver of the roller blades. Let's just say the kids need a better teacher! My arms are still sore from holding up Sami for a good stretch uphill and then down. Roller blading was followed by a trip to Charlie's Ice Cream Parlor.

Thursday.. Another Funeral
Well, let's back up to Tuesday. I helped at a blood drive and the kids and Dick worked cattle. When they got back, one of the dogs (Annie) attacked one of the bummer lambs. Groucho, who is Jakes lamb. Groucho made it through the night and most of Wednesday. Wednesday night when Jake went out at 9pm to put the chicks to bed, he found Groucho, dead. I so wish I found him instead! Our poor little boy came in, crying.... Nothing worse. Nothing sadder... Jake slept at my bedside. He has had the blues.
So, yesterday, the kids and I buried Groucho in the Warm Springs Creek field. He is in a beautiful meadow area. It was a project. Jake did most of the digging. Broke my heart to see my little 9 year old boy, doing a man's job. He channeled all his sadness and madness into each shovel kick. I could see it. All three of us shared in the job. After we buried Groucho, we made a circle, held hands, and said a prayer. My heart aches for my son.

Then, the kids swam in the creek. Jake did not want to, but Sami caught a frog, so Jake was back in the game. Ernest and a couple of the other boys (dogs - one eyed Louie and Lefty) came with us. Ernest was like a puppy again. He swam as well, ran around and kept an eye on the kids. I love that dog.

So, that was our week. One with highs and lows. The lows keep pulling at our shirt sleeves, dragging us down. It's 8:00 am right now and the kids are still asleep. They are exhausted from all we have seen, experienced and done.

Today is Friday, and I have a market tonight and one tomorrow. Wish I could just lay low, but as we all know, life must go on. We have to get back into our groove and keep going.

It will be a gorgeous day. The high is predicted to be only 77 degrees. A great summer day.

Sigh.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July! Got Margarittas?

She's A Grand Ol' Flag

Good morning fellow Americans and friends across various ponds!
Today is a National Holiday, the day we celebrate Independence Day.

Before I share with you our day's events, a prayer of thanks...

********
Thank you to our founding fathers, for risking everything they had, to secure our Nation.

Thank you to all the service men, women and families, past and present, that have sacrificed on our behalf, to keep our borders, nation and founding ideologies safe.

I am grateful for the ground I walk on, the skies I can look at, the life I can choose to have, and the liberties that I have...
Amen
*******
Now, on to our plans....

It's 8:49 am and 66 degrees! Today's high is forecasted at 80, with thunderstorms. This news, my friends is the BEST 4th of July weather forecast we have had in years!!! Nine bloody sweaty, dusty, miserable 4th of July's in a row are now 'broken' by a lovely to be had day! Woo Hoo! I'll take a Thunderstorm over a 95 to 105 degree day any ol' day, even with the hay down (sorry, honey!)...

Here is how our Typical 4th of July goes down:
First, my husband leaves at 6 am to go irrigate. We don't see the whites of his eyes until Rodeo Time, about 1:30 pm. So, I get the duties of dragging the kids to town. We usually have a miserable, hot 4th of July spent in downtown Haines with the longest parade in small town history (2 hours at least with every stickhorse, pony, bike, piece of farm equipment, family reunion float within 50 miles and loud obnoxious public service vehicle blaring it's horn), various events in the park (vendors, BBQ, quilts, trinkets and stuff), the rodeo ((the highlight of the day -great entertainment (hats and wrangers, hats and wranglers), except when it is bloody hot, always dusty, your kids are whining that they are hot, and sweat is dripping down between 'the twins' and your HUSBAND ditches his family for the beer garden - year after bloody hot year)).. Oh, and lets not forget the fireworks (which don't start until 10pm, and the kids are usually crying and cranky by that hour, since bedtime is early on the ranch, and dad is already 'sleeping off his celebratory drinks', so mom tries her best to take the kids back to town to see the fireworks, driving around trying to find a good spot, and asking herself 'why?' 'why, oh bloody why do I do this!') ....

sigh...

But this year is going to be different! Oh yeah, baby...

This is the New 4th of July Plan!

  • I'm making potato salad. Potatoes are cooling in the fridge as we speak.
  • I'm making baked beans (8 hours in Crockpot). Crockpot is cooking as we speak. Will be done at 1pm!
  • Kids and I are going to the dorky parade (save us) - but, we are hooking up with my BFF Michelle and her twins (kids, not 'her girls')
  • I have secret weapons packed in the car!!! Soccer mom chairs, scooters, swim gear, picnic blanket. Just in-case we decide to escape! I'm doing some serious plotting to run away from the 'scene' and going to a pool and hangin' - magazine style. Poolside cocktails. Subway sandwiches and NO DUST! Tee hee! I'm giddy just thinking about it! (and smiling a very happy little smile!)
  • We are not doing the rodeo today - no dust!
  • We are going to Michelle's ranch for dinner tonight at 7pm. Margarittas for the girls, beer for the boys.
  • We will watch the fireworks from a hilltop at Michelle's.
Tomorrow night we will catch the rodeo. It won't be on the 4th, and we will be just fine. It will be at 5pm with the evening cooling off and the sun going down, and it will be so delightful.

And, that my friends, is how the 4th of July is going to be had.
Happily!

We do have a funeral to attend tomorrow morning, for a dear friend that meant a lot to our community. but I will save that story for later.

Time to go play!
Have a great one!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More Sheep Photos!

Hello friends!

I posted more sheep & lamb photos at the ranch blog. Go check it out! There is also a post about Badger, our newest bummer lamb.

Just click on the link below. There are two new posts.

Sexton Ranches Round Up

See ya!