Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Adventures on the Ranch

I started this blog as a means to share some of the, shall we say, unique happenings that occur on our little ranch/farm. Most of the time, our lives are pretty routine, or as routine as they can be in this setting. I get up, prod my daughter, Becca, to get out of bed, do chores, prod her some more, we run through the morning routine, to work/school/day care, home again, chores, dinner, and whatever. With the exception of the type of things we do, most of it is much like the everyday lives of most Americans.

Then there are those days, like the one I had yesterday, where everything was unique and even somewhat bizarre from start to finish. I "bookended" this day with two "Sorry, but I have bad news" calls to my landlady, and in the evening she filled me in on the rest of the unusual aspects of her day.

As usual, I prodded and poked and annoyed Becca to get her to start moving and let her dog out to do his morning duty. (She begged for him and promised she would be responsible for his care - some days it's a real chore for ME to force her to live up to that promise, but I stand strong!) I got the goat feed and water sorted for the day, fed the chickens and let them out of the coop, brought half of the goats to their pen, then sat down to start milking Imbri. I look up and ... what is that? The studio apartment next to my home, which is used by my landlords for storage, has two huge sliding glass doors across one side, and one of the four panes is completely shattered. I give my landlady a call and describe the problem to her, noting that it doesn't look like anyone tried to break in, because nothing is disturbed. She wonders if the shearer might have backed into it the day before, or if the Hispanic gentleman she hired to do weed whacking might have sent a rock into it. It wasn't broken the night before, so we both conclude that it probably was the rock, but it didn't shatter until the night cool down brought enough of a temperature change to make it fall apart.

I go about the rest of my day and then head for home. Our house is about a mile from the road, and at the second gate, near my place, we suddenly see about a dozen vultures, flying about, landing on fence posts, and looking very intent. Oh, no. Another sheep died?

I pull up to the gate where I have a better view and cell signal, and call to let my landlady know. Luckily, I am not breaking any bad news to her this time, as she already knew about it. She thought I was calling about the OTHER broken window at my place!

Apparently, she gave her weed trimming helper instructions to work up at her place until she got back from errands, but when she got back, he was down at my house, having already cleared where he wasn't supposed to, and she discovers that another pane of the sliding doors on her studio has been completely shattered. Senor Weed Whacker shrugged his shoulders and denied any responsibility.

By this part of her story, we have driven up to the house and are starting to get out of the truck while I'm still on the phone. Becca exclaims in distress, and I come around the corner to see that, yes, he cleared weeds behind my house, but he also cleared all the chamomile and turned the entire area into a dust bowl. Because Becca is making noise in the background, I let my landlady know this, but haven't told her yet that I discovered later he put a hole in a hose and knocked a hole into the side of my blueberry bush pot. (Deep sigh) He also moved my watering system for the carnations and Tabasco plants, so I needed to find the hooks that had been flung everywhere and get it set up again. Luckily, it appears there is no hole in it.

The good news is, that I didn't come home to an even worse nasty surprise. Senor finds rattlesnakes while he is weed whacking, and apparently he seems to like these discoveries, as he kills them and takes them home. When he was working near one of the goat pens yesterday, he apparently found and killed one, skinned it, and hung it from the tree. He almost forgot to take it with him, and I am sooooo grateful to my landlady for reminding him. That definitely would have freaked us out, to come rolling into the driveway and see a skinned rattlesnake hanging by its rattles from the tree!

We settled in to a routine evening, and Becca finds two turkey feathers, that she thinks will look good in her hair. She is right.

With the full moon approaching, the coyotes are more active. We stepped outside for a while before bedtime to listen to them. I think I hear young ones yipping and trying to howl. Luckily, we both sleep deeply and the house seems to be insulated well, because we rarely hear them while in bed, unless the windows are open.

When I stopped by to drop off a check to my landlady this morning, the poor thing came out looking worried, "Is there anything wrong?" No, thank goodness, not this morning, but who knows what adventures will happen at the IBTC Farm today?


  1. I was thinking about this post this morning (having read it the day you posted it), and I realized how valuable your blog is going to be -- for many reasons, of course, but not the least of which is that it will serve as a "scrapbook" of sorts to capture and save these moments. As we have new experiences, over time these incidents, or at least some of them, seem to fall out of memory; and with your blog you'll have a wonderful journal of the events, big and small, which make up a lifetime.

    Of course, your friends and family happen to the fortunate beneficiaries of your willingness to let us peek over your shoulder as you have your adventures, both the "everyday" variety and the more extraordinary ones you describe here.

    Looking forward to your next adventure -- may it be positive and happy! (Oh, and P.S., Becca's right: the feathers look great in her hair!)


  2. Thank you, Ann! I always look forward to reading your comments and thoughts. :-) I hadn't thought of the fact this could be a good way to gather memories and solidify them for the future, as my mind's grasp on the past starts to weaken. heh Happy adventures, here we come!