Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Walk Around The Ranch...

 If you look close with a little imagination you can see a heart around Ms Punkins nose.
 Samson and Kid Rock are getting to know each other.
 Kid Rock
 Clover, both goats are doing great and growing fast.
 Hey do you mind if I have some of that green stuff too?
Daisy Mae resting after another jaunt off property.

House update:
Water well is in and pump should be turned on later this week. Power and water lines are going in trenches this weekend and my flooring will be delivered then too. Moving forward and making progress daily.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Year In Review...

Seems like just yesterday I was reminiscing about the previous year and choosing my annual word. Crazy how time flies, I guess the old saying is true... January is almost gone and it was a total blur with house stuff and caring for all the animals. I did want to sit down,  though late and reminiscence a bit as I do every new year.

2014 has been a good year for us. It was filled with more good than bad and has put us many steps closer to goals set years ago.  My word for 2014 was Peace. Life is a challenge and I try to control way to many things so this was such a great word for me. I have spent this last year letting go and lifting up everything. And I mean everything, both good and bad and what a huge relief it was. I don't have to know everything or handle everything it's all okay.

Here's a summary of our year in review via pictures shared already.
January Ms Punkin Pie came to live with us.
February brought us an awesome visit with family.
March, I was able visit and shoot the National Cross Country Event as it came to our town. Amazing these animals and their riders are!
April I witnessed the most spectacular sunrises, every single morning I was in Cabo San Lucas. Simply amazing, what a gift that trip was!
May the temps began to rise and lucky for us watermelon season was just getting started.
June I got to shoot the Justin Moore and Frankie Ballard concert and it was awesome!
July we laid Jackson Brown Dog to rest... I still miss him every single day.
August we saved sweet Samson.
September I drove Ms Daisy Mayhem home. I took her off death row from our local shelter.
October we moved to our lot and began our adventure of building our dream ranch.
November we kept working non stop, it's kind of a blur.
December was crazy... We rescued Harley Man. We rescued two sick baby goats (who are doing really well now). We received record snow fall for our area and our house was delivered. Phew...!!!

Until now my annual words seem to be placed on me with ease. This year though, I'm struggling to find my word. I'm sure it's there I just haven't found it yet. Maybe once things settle down a bit I will.

In the meantime I am grateful for this last year and looking forward to this new year with excitement and new sense of peace.  My heart is full of incredible love and Joy. I'm honored and blessed to be surrounded by all our animals, knowing we made a difference is a gift. Surrounded by amazing people God gave me who love me for me day in and day out is incredible.

Here's to 2015 and finding my word when it comes my way.

Blessings
Jen

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Catching Up...

Goat kisses!
Little Clover is doing much much better. We've successfully cleared both her respiratory and coccidiosis infections, yay! Her appetite is awesome and she is a really happy girl. The last issue we are hoping to clear up is her front leg. It appears the infection didn't cause her to limp but rather some radial nerve damage she acquired. We are at a total loss as to how this happened since she was sound the first three days. Although,  she was so sick she wasn't moving around much...

We've started her on steroids for three days to see if it will help clear some internal inflammation. Best case scenario she will recover over the next few weeks. Worse case scenario, she won't but she'll be able to get around, live a full life and still be a happy girl. So win win I say... We are so thankful she is alive and that beat the odds that were hugely stacked against her.
Sweet Snuggle Time
Heading up to the back fence line to watch the Music Man work and gnaw on some grass.
My morning view. Those EARS... I love them!
Kid Rock is a total rock star goat and we are so proud of him. He is active, curious and a blast to watch. He even snuggles when he slows down.

With our recent days filled with healing goat babies I'm a little behind in the happening around the ranch over the last couple of weeks. I'll try and catch you guys up now...

On NYE we had a snow day here at the ranch. The passing storm was the talk of our town since snow storms are not normal for our area. The locals say we do get snow every ten years or so but it melts quickly. We received six inches and it lasted a few days.
I captured this image as the new day was beginning to break, it features our side fence line that we were working on (its done now) I love the texture of the snow covered fence and if you look closely you can see the falling snow. What a gorgeous and surreal day it was!
Our house is now on it's foundation and passed all inspections thus far without a hitch. There's a flurry of activity around it and things are moving along quickly. Our well pump will be placed later this week. We are trenching for the water and power lines and drywall and paint is expected to be finished by the weekend.
We've had a couple drizzly days earlier this week and our cute little wolf in disguise is drying out and relaxing after jumping puddles.
Our lil Punkin Princess is enjoying her shelter and staying dry underneath it.
Harley Man hanging with the girls (note Daisy watching over all of them) love all these amazing beings who we get to be with everyday at the ranch.
video
Here is another video, this one features Clover trying to wake up Harley man.  The music and the music man playing with Kid in the background is so funny.

Thank you God for this life.  We are so abundantly and incredibly blessed!

Linking up with T over at Good Fences

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Baby Update

Thanks everyone for your kind responses it was an emotional whirlwind last week trying to process what had happened and how people can just throw away life.  I do believe the story of "throwaways" needs to be told. Knowledge equals power and if more people are aware of the ugly side of factory farming perhaps things one day will change.  
I wanted to take a couple minutes and update you guys on the babies. Clover is still quite sick but she is improving and is a little fighter. She has a bit of a road to hoe. Her respiratory infection has improved but she became lame on her left front leg for no reason a couple days after we brought her home. We believe her limp is due to an infection settling in her ankle area. She's also developed Coccidiosis which is a bacteria that attacks intestines and her belly.  This can be very serious if not treated immediately.  Thankfully, I believe we caught it within 48 hours and are hopeful the added med's will knock it out quickly.
She is such a snuggle bug and so sweet. She has regained her appetite and is enjoying spurts of play.
When we got him he was face down, lethargic and unable to get up. Fast forward a week and
Kid Rock IS a rock star! I mean gosh look at this face! Can't you see all the girls going goo goo for him.  Such a cutie pie. His respiratory infection is all but gone and he is thriving. Jumping, bouncing and checking everything out.  I think his favorite thing to do besides eating is testing out everything with his mouth. They say goats are garbage disposals, smart and curious. Yep, that sounds like our Kid.
Our sweet Harley man has taken to the babies and watches over them. Always by their side.
He likes their bed and keeps it warm when they're out playing.

Looks at this guy, incredible isn't it?!  A month ago feral, scared and unsure. Now he's a great little guardian and will be staying with the goats in the shed once the kids are old enough and healthy enough to go outside.

God Amazes me daily. While out doing chores the other day I was thinking about the last few weeks and how things have developed over here. How we are smaller than a spec of dust in the universe but our purpose is so big. That we can make a difference without even making a plan first.

They needed help.  After weeks of trying to get close enough I was finally able to briefly touch one of the two abandoned dogs over at the goat farmers property. The next morning  I was greeted by Harley at our campers steps, somehow he found trust in me. Not planned, just happened...

Last week, two critically sick and dying new born goats. Not planned, just happened... Now we have an unlikely and perfect pairing. Bigger picture for sure and for me there's no doubt these precious souls were divinely placed here from us to serve.  Amazing!
Kid Rock and Harley Man resting at the end of a day.
video
Check out this short video of Clover I know it will leave you smiling.

Blessings
Jen

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Because No One, Especially Babies Are Trash...

I quickly mentioned in our last post that the music man and I saved a couple newborn goats. We were planning on rescuing a couple goats once we were in the house and their pen was built but then this happen...

On the next to last day in 2014 a friend of mine, Lisa who is with Toby's Legacy Equine Rescue, Inc. went to a horrific auction and saved a dozen newborn orphaned goats who were hypothermic and slowly dying in a freezing wet trailer. Umbilical cords still attached and blood from their birth still on their fur. These newborn babies were mixed in with others who were no longer living. Sadly all were byproducts of the dairy industry known as "throwaways".

I heard about half of the babies saved that day have sadly passed on as well. Too tiny, too cold and without their mama's milk and warmth the odds were stacked hugely against them. Sometimes helping knowing all you can offer is warmth and love to the sickest ones as they pass is heartbreaking. Hopeful the others will make it and finding homes so urgently is difficult. I'm grateful my friend has the strength to fight for those who need it most.
We took two of the babies in, though fragile they are gaining strength. Both have colds and have been started on antibiotics. They are eating well and starting to show some personality, huge personalities and I can't wait to see them grow. 

Round the clock feedings and diaper changes have us tired. But both babies are gaining strength daily and giving them a chance at life is SO worth the interrupted sleep.  Thank you Deborah for your time and knowledge, I am grateful, my goatie guru.


So in keeping with the adventure tradition here at the ranch we now have a full trailer and even more full days but it's all good. If you're keeping track we have 4 dogs, 2 goats and 2 humans in our camper at nighttime. 
The Music man has named the boy Kid Rock. He said he's a kid and will climb rocks so it makes sense, yep.  And if you know the music man you know it's all about the rock and the roll. Today Kid Rock is feeling really good. He is bouncing around, adventurous and super curious.
We named our sweet little girl Clover. She is really congested but comfortable and continues to get stronger. She is super sweet, snuggly and our little lucky clover. 
Both goats are adorable little miracles who are beating the odds of the "throwaways". I am so grateful we are able to serve these sweeties and all of God's beautiful creations. 
Though not out of the woods I do believe we're heading in the right direction. Please keep Kid Rock and Clover in your thoughts.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ranch Ta Do's

This is a long post so I hope you'll grab a cup of coffee or tea and hang with me for a few minutes. It's been a busy couple of weeks around here and I have so much to share with you guys.

Living in our camping trailer it didn't feel much like Christmas heading into the holiday. I had no decor up, blew out my shopping in just a couple hours (we went super small as I don't have anywhere to put anything) and haven't baked my annual gifts. We knew going into this adventure things would be a bit different this holiday and it's all A Okay. Really, because we don't need decorations to celebrate our Saviors birth.  We are overwhelmingly blessed and fortunate in so many ways, life is amazing! We did spend Christmas eve at my parents house and had a really nice time visiting with family. My parents home was decorated beautifully. 
Our rooster Lane is now four months old and trying hard, very hard to let the ladies know that he is now the king of their world. It's not romantic or awesome like the couple in the Titanic movie but he sure is trying.  The older girls are smacking him down with the exception of Goldie Girl, she seems to be his object of ... ahem, affection right now and spends her afternoon running and screaming from him. I've actually had to intervene a couple times to give her a break. Poor thing just finished a really hard molt and he is now rubbing her head feathers off with his beak, ouch.
video
The rain has been gone now for the last week so we've been drying out and busting out BIG moves to make up for some lost time.  Justin has been here for a few days helping out. We've finished one of the horse shelters roof and sides and are working on the second one as well as finishing fencing our our second line which is super duper long,  yay!
Oh the fencing is endless but we getting closer everyday.  I can see our progress and it feels great. I've been really stressed that the dogs are running around and now adventuring a ways off the property. They need to know their territory and I need to keep them safe, running free range acres and acres away doesn't work for either.
Duke came down with a bug or got into something and was down for a few days but thankfully he's feeling much better and is back to being his happy self... Look at that smile. 

Miss Daisy Mayhem is all better and had her sutures removed the other day. I used her time in lock down to work on her training and she's doing well. She is such a smart girl! The separation anxiety has me at a loss though. I have never seen such an extreme case. Hoping time and patience will get us through it. And our newest addition Mr. Harley Man continues to settle in.

We are expecting a really cold storm this afternoon with a chance of snow. It would be fun to have some here since it's such a rare thing but we're not set up for that and are freezing in the trailer already. For the last couple of weeks our mornings have been in the mid 20's outside and in the low 40's inside the camper. I've had to run the generator a lot so the heater can take the edge off. It's all good though and I can't hardly believe we've been camping here for two months already.

Of course like in any adventure there have been some speeds bumps. Two Saturday nights ago we woke up at 1 am to thick smelly smoke, dogs jumping on us and a fire on our kitchen counter. I had kept my emergency ion flashlight in my plastic dish drainer. Not plugged in as we don't have power so it simply sat in the silverware area of the holder for storage. It exploded and caught itself on fire as well as a couple tea candles and Christmas cards we had sitting near it. Thankfully we were able to distinguish it quickly and before it could ignite anything else. Holy Cow it was scary though, phew. We are so grateful it wasn't worse. Thankful we were home when it happened and thankful for our sweet doggies for waking us up.  

And you know what else happened around here.... OUR HOUSE was delivered! That sounds so funny huh. Of course it was a total ordeal but those of you following along on our adventure probably guessed it would be lol. 

The earth is still really wet here from the recent storms soooooo the house sections, special tractor and semi trucks all got stuck in the mud... Image chains pulling all three huge things through the mud and up the driveway. It really was something to see unfold. Good news it did finally make its way to the pad and looks amazing. We are so excited! There is another crew here for the last week putting the pieces together. Our septic inspection is today. If all goes well we will be in sometime in February, yay!

We hope to have our solar system ordered in the next couple of weeks and I cannot wait. I am very excited to have power and a heater again... Oh and a shower and running water, that would be amazing.

And finally what do you do when living in a camping trailer with 3 dogs and 2 humans?

Rescue 2 newborn orphaned goats of course.  One La Mancha baby girl and a lil boy, not sure of breed maybe a Nubian (look at those ears). Instead of kitchen goats I guess we'll call them camper goats for a few weeks anyways.

Hoping your holiday was wonderful and looking forward to catching up with everyone.

Blessings
Jen



Monday, December 15, 2014

The Ebb and Flow Of These Days...

Progress: Movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage.

Okay got it.

This week has been an adventure to say the least. We are finally getting some much needed rain here in sunny So Cal and it has created some havoc. We have been in a ten year drought and the torrential down pours created flash floods, mostly in the burn areas, washed out roads and mud bogs everywhere and we weren't sure how the property would do with the multiple storms that visited us... It did great!

Considering the amount of rain we received we do have some mud, yes. Our road washed out and the DG is beyond slippery. Imagine snow on top of a layer of ice, kinda like that.  We were stuck here for a day but thankfully were able to get out just in the nick of time to get the music man to his show. The last couple of days the puddles have begun soaking in and we didn't have any real problems with the lot itself.

We did spring a few more leaks in the camper and it looks like we have at least one perhaps two more storms coming this week with the first one arriving tonight.  The earth here is very wet so I'm not sure how things will go this time around, time will tell, but I'm hopeful we'll do fine. I did stock up on gas and water just in case we cannot get out again.
The house pad has been dug and foundation work begun. We are so excited! If all goes well, we should be in our house in February. This is the view from the house site looking into wine country, awesome right?!

What would life at the ranch be without adventure and way toooo much stuff going on... Boring? Perhaps that's why there is so much motion these days. Forward motion with a little bit of time out as well.

Mr. Harley Man is doing great and had his first visit to our vet. He has bilateral ear infections with some scar tissue but otherwise is a healthy boy and around one year of age.
I cannot believe how fast he settled in. Seriously floored! I've never had an animal adjust so quickly to us, especially one that was all but feral... It's hard to believe that just over a week ago you couldn't even touch him, now look at him... Such a sweetie.
A couple days later Ms. Whoops A Daisy Mae wanted to visit our awesome vet too. The other night she came running up the driveway after adventuring with Duke and Harley off property bleeding. It appears while out romping at full speed (that's how she rolls, full throttle) she ran into either barb wire or a storm drain that ripped a big gash in her front leg. She had surgery to repair the damage and is now on lock down inside the trailer for two weeks.
She's not a happy girl and is struggling to remain calm. Hates the cone and doesn't like not being able to run around one bit.  This is also the girl who has severe separation anxiety so that means I am on lock down too... Not good.
The Music Man turned another year older yesterday.  He's my partner in crime, the Ying to my Yang. The S in our shenanigans, my favorite comedian. My Dreams Do Come True Maker. My best friend, my love and my life partnerand I thank God everyday for him.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Introducing Harley...

Another neglected and abused soul has found refuge here at the ranch. This sweet boy was put out in a field as a livestock guardian when just a puppy and spent his young life fighting for his own... No shelter, no human interaction and the dog he was with, routinely attacked him as you can see by all the scars on his face.

We will be working on socializing him, building trust and respect. In addition to spoiling him, we are excited to see him settle into his new life where safety, love and Joy live. The progress he has made in just a couple days is amazing and proof all beings know what being safe feels like.

Camping at the ranch has been nothing short of an adventure let me tell you. I still don't have running water, a working refrigerator and I've given up on the cooler thing. It just gets everything soggy and the only power we have is when the generator is on which is really noisy. Did you know you cannot charge computers (laptops) with a generator? I didn't but do now, something to do with the wattage. I'm grateful for all the "things" I've learned on this journey.  I've learned that I don't really miss TV, I enjoy the quiet, I'm enjoying the un rushed conversations with my family and an early bedtime for much needed rest.

I can't believe we've been "dry" camping for six weeks already. Time sure flies when you're working your butt off. Depending on how many surprises we run into we could be half through our time roughing it as we continue to make BIG progress.  More fencing is up, our house is coming in pieces in a week or so, septic system is going in and I'm hoping the horse shelter will be up before Fridays rain storm... Fingers crossed.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Counting Blessings...

I try and give thanks every single day, often several time over. Life is amazing isn't it? It may not always be easy and there are many speed bumps but it is always good...  This time of year is my favorite. I love the weather the fall season offers, football and this holiday in particular.  With so much going on in our lives right now I spent some extra time counting our many blessing this week.

I am so incredibly grateful for these people who God gave me.  These people who love me day in and day out, who accept me for who I am and who fill my heart with Joy.   My family, I sure love these people!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday!

Blessings
Jen

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ranching Is Hard Work... Duh

I'm exhausted, my back is screaming at me but I'm determined, my heart is full of Joy and the music man amazes me... I know he is sore too but is working double time around me. I'm so grateful for his knowledge and dedication. After weeks of working hard with little more to see than dirt we are now actually seeing our hard work and man it sure
feels good!

Both horse turn outs are done and are beautiful. I am really happy with the fencing we chose and the animals have plenty of room to kick up their heels if they want to.

Both storage sheds are done and I have begun to decorate my tack room. In addition to painting I've learned how to roof and run hot wire.

Duke and Daisy are chasing coyotes daily and are learning the boundaries of the property. They have become best buddies and not only love each other but their high energy level keeps them playing all day. The picture above is just after Duke got busted for running off property and not listening as I called him off. He does have a cute oops I'm sorry look doesn't he?
My Tack shed is coming along.
The sunrise and sunsets are spectacular here and I'm looking forward to capturing them with my "real" camera soon.  I love this photo of the girls enjoying their sunset snack with Daisy Mae watching over them.  As you can see we have the round pen up as well. Ohh sweet sweet progress I tell ya.
It's getting down right cold at night so this week I have begun blanketing. Check out our princess Punkin Pie sporting her brand new pink coat. What a cutie!
I've noticed over the last few days that Chancie has started dropping weight even though I am feeding heavy... I think he is burning extra calories to keep warm so I hope blanketing at night will help stop that. He and Luna Tuna are due for their teeth floating as well and have am appointment with the dentist this morning. Hoping blanket and a happy mouth will help keep weight on him over the winter.
Check out our sweet Samson and our fencing, isn't is awesome! I'm pretty sure donkeys are angels that God sends to us for some extra love...
We have a chance of a thunder storm tomorrow night. Though camp is not quiet set up for rain yet we could sure use it. The dirt here is like cake flour and poofs up everywhere especially as the music man tractors around. It would be nice if mother nature could help us compact it down a bit. Yeah a little less dirt flying would be nice.

Hoping all is well is your hood. I've just figured out how to tether my phone to the lap top and am pretty proud of my technical achievement....  Now to catch up with everyone in decent size print, yes!   As the days go by I swear the print on my phone gets smaller and smaller...

Have a great weekend!
Jen