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.
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.


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!


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!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An Update From My Cell

Coffee cheers to my incredible husband who is working his butt off for us. We have been working from sun up to after dark via lights from our generator busting out big moves.
We do take little breaks though, here's Shelby taking Ms. Punkin and her Honey dog for a walk before dinner the other night. Sigh I love this life...
My sweet Duke and I getting ready to start another day. It was a chilly morning and we were both moving just a little slower enjoying the warmth of the indoors.
And I believe my she is a he... He is getting so big and his feather coloring is gorgeous. I noticed a couple weeks ago that his coloring and size was so different from the hens that I got at the same time. We're now thinking of a boy names and though I thought all my chicks were hens we are looking forward to some crowing and all the shenanigans roosters do.
Sweet Samson smiling for all the veterans yesterday. We love and appreciate all those who serve, have served and their families not just one day of the year but everyday.
Hanging horse gates after sunset. One of the horse turn outs is done and we're hoping to finish the other today after work. Fingers crossed we don't have any issues.
And look, after all that work we still like each other haha. Hope all is well in your hood.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Howdy From What The Heck Just Happened...

I'm posting from my cell phone as we do not have WiFi set up yet. This is a first for me,  crossing fingers it's works.

Our move has gone anything but smooth in fact its been quite a disastrous adventure thus far. We have been working non stop for the last 30 days in preparing for the move.  Fencing for both perimeter and horses as well as water delivery and tanks as the well is not up and running yet.

We now have umpteen unfinished projects but the animals and humans have made it over. Phew.  I am hoping the chicken coop will come tomorrow. I am worried about my girls being alone at the old place. Their coop is solid but the rural nature of where we live makes me nervous non the less.

Since horse turn outs are not done yet they are staying a few days in the round pen. The dogs are so happy and doing a fabulous job of keeping the coyotes off property.  Both donkeys bray and stare in the campers window a lot. I know everyone is feeling the stress that moving brings. I think they they're saying hey lady where'd you bring us and is this it! Just a few more days and I know they will love it here too. Their pastures are big and roomy.

As of now we're dry camping next to the horses. My fridge and water pump are not working. We had a little rain system come through the other night and we have a major water leak in our roof, about a foot away from my pillow. Ugh. Though it's been rough we have laughed, dreamed and are even more determined to get everything finished.

The views are incredible here. The quiet,  peaceful. Standing on our own dirt is beyond joyful and I can see the big picture and it sure is beautiful.

All the mayhem will pass and the music man and I will have tons of stories to share and no doubt some laughs too... Moving just sucks but life is amazing!
Hoping all is well in your hood. Have a great week!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ready Set Camp

Thank you everyone for your sweet healing wishes for Duke, he is great! Finished his antibiotics and is healing really well. In fact the injury didn't really slow him down at all.

The move date to our ranch is here and wow did it come fast! We're not really ready but have been working not stop for the last few weeks trying to be.  We expect to receive our first work card permit today or tomorrow as all conditions are now clear. We have been drilling post holes for days... And days. Seriously the hardest work, even with Fergie the tractor.

The music man was able to build my tack shed this week, though not done it sure looks good. This project is so big that it often feels like a single drip drop of water into the ocean. With the fence post in for both pastures, almost half of the perimeter posts in on two of the sides of the property and one of the sheds up I am now starting to see the progress. Thank you God.

Though we are exhausted and sore with so much more that needs to be done before we move we are so excited and grateful to finally have our own slice of dirt.  Knowing all this hard work makes for dreams that do come true.   We are so thankful for the support of our friends and family who have been helping us as well. This weekend they will be back to help us set up or "camp".

Okay I best get moving, those empty boxes are calling me.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Duke A Gazillion ~ Coyote 1

Shelby turned another year older and we celebrated with family. Look at these two, I sure love them and am always grateful when my son comes out to visit us.  
Like every morning Duke runs coyotes off the property while I'm out feeding. He's my second set of eyes and takes his job as "super ranch dog"very seriously. Inherently, he protects.

Yesterday morning he bolted out the door and took off barking before Daisy and I knew what was happening. When I got down to the horses I saw Duke and a coyote across the road. I then saw two, three and four coyotes in total. Thankfully, seeing Daisy and me walking towards Duke they all ran off.

Last night I found a puncture wound just above his tail. I've cleaned it and he is current on his rabies (and all vaccines). This morning we'll be visiting the vet to be sure all is okay. A year of chasing coyotes and this is the first time he has had contact with them, lucky I know since we don't have a fence here.
(photo by shelbs)
Another reason we are busting our humps over at the lot sinking fence post. We have about one third of what we need in and set. In total, we are fencing about 4,000 feet and hoping to have the first half done before moving over there.

**Duke update
We started him on antibiotics, he'll have a scar but will be fine.  Thanks everyone for your kind words about him and your prayers. He is such a tough guy and one of my cutest hero's...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Glimpse of Fall And Some Catch Up...

The focus is off on this image but I wanted to share anyways. This was my grandpa's measuring cup and one of my favorites. Though he had a rough life I think he found pieces of peace in the kitchen. He was a good cook and I love that I have this family treasure. I always think and feel close to my grandpa when I'm busting out my own moves in the kitchen. What a gift this little cup is.  
Being a wrecking ball is hard work... Ms. Daisy Mayhem has severe separation anxiety. Have you had an animal suffer this? We are making great progress on potty training and manners but if she cannot see or hear me things quickly go sideways.

I have been working on crate training her in hopes of finding a place where she can feel safe and cozy when I have to run to town...What a total disaster!  She has broken through 2 of them. She literally breaks the metal at the weld joints and squeezes her body through an incredibly small opening. We have averted disaster as she has not gotten herself hung up but the crate thing is simply not working. I get home to find my stuff all over the place and her in total freak out mode.  I cannot leave her outside in this hot weather or take her everywhere with me. Any suggestion are welcome.
Last week our temps dropped and we had a day of fall like weather before another heat wave set in.  I was so excited that I baked, made soup, power cleaned the house and started packing.  The only thing I wasn't able to squeeze in was some knitting time.
Fergie the magic machine (aka tractor) broke down and we lost a whole week of work at the lot but she's fixed now and we are hopeful we can run a large fence line this coming weekend. My parents and Justin are coming down to lend some helping hands so we can make up some ground.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and checking some stuff off the "to do" list at the same time.

I'm thankful for the weekly phone conversations with my son but I haven't hugged him or looked into his eyes since July, way to long to be sure everything in his life is good.  Phone calls are great but in person check in's are always way more awesome and necessary for this mama.

Our move date is coming fast and there really is so much that must be done.  Truth be told I've been freaking out a bit. I know all will be amazing and I'm trying to lift up my stress and let it go but it's hard and I haven't done such a hot job with it. I am soaking in all these moment, taking the good with the bad and learning so much about expectations, adjustments and patience.  I mean after all Gods timing IS perfect why fight it.

Weather forecast says cooler days are coming our way, great news for working outdoors and perhaps I can pick up those knitting needles soon.

Hoping all is well in your hood,

Friday, September 26, 2014

Life Happens...

Hey is this thing on?

Hi guys, sorry I've been away. Truth is since Jackson passed I've not been motivated to sit here and talk about my days. My life is good, I'm good it's just that this blog was named after him as everything I posted was seen through his eyes... And it feels different now.

Life goes on and living on a ranch with others who need my time, offer kisses, hugs and laughter is the best kind of medicine. The last couple weeks have been hectic here too. We've decided that our move date over to the lot will be the end of next month. Yep, we'll be glamping in our RV for a few months as we develop the land. We are finalizing our house plans and I love it. It's going to be perfect!
There is so much work to be done, instead of totally freaking out I'm working hard at taking things a day at a time. Feeling thankful for God's grace, it gets me through each and every day.  The music man is in transition too, if all this house stuff wasn't enough he's going to be working his butt off. Not like that's a new thing,  just looks like our work will be nonstop for the foreseeable future. So we bought Fergie the tractor.   Our "new to us" magical machine that will make some of the work easier.
Ms. Daisy Mayhem is loving her new life and we continue to make progress on her training.  She is such a sweet girl who loves snuggles and my gosh does she love Duke. They have a blast playing and running around like maniacs.
The chicks are now teenagers and I expect Goldie girl to stop being a mama to her two any day now.  She watches from a far and they are getting so independent.
As far as Minnie's three they are growing quickly as well full of feathers and tripled in size, teenagers now for sure but still definitely need their mama.
We made it through an incredible heat wave last week and I'm not the only one happy it's over. Chancie,  Luna Tuna,  Punkin and Sam are too.  Our evenings our starting to cool down nicely and even though we are officially in fall our weather will stay warm for another month or so with a lingering monsoon or two.  Here is Daisy Mae listening to the afternoon thunder roll across the ranch.

I can't hardly wait to get back to fresh breads and soups as our main staple. Not to mention that quiet at the end of the day where my knitting needles sit so perfectly in my hands.  Ohhhh yes fall is my favorite season and I hope Mother Nature will bring it to our hood soon.

Okay I think you're up to date with the shenanigans over here, how are you? I'm looking forward to bouncing around a bit and seeing everyone.

Happy Weekending

Friday, September 12, 2014

They Call It Progress..

Southwest Fire Protection came out yesterday and mowed our lot. It's so dry out here and the fire hazard  is incredibly high. When mowing you have to have a fire truck follow the tractor in case it hits a rock and makes a spark.
This is Dan, the owner SWF and the tractor driver. I'd say he likes dirt, in fact I'd say he loves it!
He spent 10 hours in 100 degree temps mowing while being surrounded in a dirt cloud. He took out Chaparral five feet high and tons of brush. It feels amazing knowing we reduced our fire danger and have a good clearing prior to building. The fire department will be out to check on us too.
 It looks amazing! I love that we can see all of it now and was happily surprised at how few rock piles were hiding... Not many at all! This weekend we are to start the perimeter fencing, I'm excited to get started but not looking forward to working in the heat, forecast calls for 104, yikes!

In other news, Ms. Daisy Mae is now Ms. Daisy Mayhem.  Ahem, she is so sweet but man oh man does she has energy, no prior training and some separation anxiety. Keeping her calm for a week (due to spaying) is not an easy task. She needs to run but for now she's on a leash next to me... Keeping her quiet is our #1 task next to potty training. Puppies are exhausting and it's been only 3 days haha. We'll get there she is a smart and gentle girl who seems to be enjoying all the attention and the indoors.

Happy Weekending Peeps!