Under the apparent pretense of "grading the barn yard" Greg whirled the quad, a drag rake bounced behind him, a beaming smile on his mud smeared face, dogs alternatively chased or cowered and Tiger and Shy the barn cats retreated to the relative safety of the hay pile in the warm dry cedar barn. Clearly an overdose of neighborly hospitality, house wine and little or no sleep affected my mental state and I found myself attacking the spider webs that were threatening to overwhelm the cow barn. This was obviously a very foolish project given my horror of anything with more than four legs....I swear Shelob lurked in every crevice, on every post and every beam. Arachnophobia took on a whole new meaning as decades old cobwebs were sucked off the barn walls, eight legged horrors scurried, and sticky spider nurseries were sucked into the vacuum. The cow barn has taken on a whole new look tonight....guess what ?..I'm NOT emptying the vacuum this time. Over to you Greg. Take care, keep safe, M
Thanksgiving 2017. We have so much to be thankful for...we have each other, we have an amazing place that we are fortunate enough to call "Home", we have wonderful family, friends and neighbours (English spelling ) . We spent a really enjoyable evening at Sue and Ralph's, got to know Katie and Mercedes a lot better and enjoyed a great turkey dinner. Thank you all for some lively conversation, great food and more than a little "house wine" Love, Maureen and Greg.
Phase two of pond maintenance project....reinforcing the head gate. Quite impressed by myself really...not too long ago I didn't even know what a head gate is !. The sun was shining, a gentle autumnal breeze blew through the cedars, red gold and orange Maple leaves floated gently to the ground and the old farm tractor rumbled back and forth loaded with rocks and gravel. I guess we could have been sitting in front of a nice warm fire sipping a gin and tonic, we could be taking life easy and watching the clock go round...I'm so glad we made this life choice although at 3.30pm, in the barn kitchen with my feet in a bucket of water, my toes probably wouldn't have agreed. Wonder what is on tomorrows "must do" schedule ? Take care, keep safe, M xx
We were visited by the WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) Ambassadors in late spring. While here, they made a video of us about our participation in the program.
It has been quite a week for the "girl team" here on the Ranch. Just over a week ago our two new farm friends arrived to experience life on the farm..Sikora style. No strangers to farming, Laura and Camrin were clearly prepared for early mornings, hard work and a varied work schedule, evidently they were less prepared for the boisterous welcome offered by our four legged ranch family. Gentle giant Quest, our big Shire gelding is a little (lot) intimidating even for the average horsey farm guest, Chelsey the old grey mare that drools, Charm, the golden palomino (beauty with attitude personified) and ageing bay Mr. Cooper have all taught our two new friends a little about life on the farm. George the big Suffolk ram and his resident harem refused to be ignored whilst Anna and Angel our ewe lambs would sell their souls for a carrot. Docile Bella the golden Jersey cow, beautiful Maybelline Grace her calf and Kobe the black steer know where the cow cookies come from and needy little Luke (the "wanna be" farm dog is everyone's new best friend. It has been a week of firsts for our intrepid WWOOFERS, Camrin and Laura have driven the tractor, milked the cow, mucked out stalls, fenced, used the saw mill, groomed and took care of the horses and livestock, stacked wood, picked grapes,made wine, put cedar siding on the coop, harvested the garden produce and are currently assisting building a staircase in the barn. It has been a busy week.....thank you ladies for your unfailing good humor drive and determination. are you up for another week ? .....Take care, keep safe, M
There is nothing quite as special as family and over the past days we have enjoyed the company of Greg's brother Tony and his delightful wife Debbie, Greg's son Matt, his wife Jodi and our ever growing grandsons. When the last goodbyes have been exchanged and the car has turned out of the driveway, we thank God that our life is so blessed by family and friends. Thank you Tony for making me work so hard for a smile (and letting me win !) ..thank you Debbie for being my partner in crime, thank you both for leaving your city life and throwing yourselves into a world of poo, poo..and even more poo. We do appreciate you so much, and are grateful that you left your safe, sanitary life on the East Coast to get up at 6am for a punishing (less than sanitary) day on the Ranch. Waiting for the arrival of brother #2 now....I am REALLY going to have a problem controlling "the cow" but excited for your arrival Stanley ( wish you were coming Joyce...we could REALLY have given the brothers a bad time). Take care, keep safe, M
It has been a week of firsts for young Mizuki here on the ranch. First time to the Pacific North West, first time helping milk a cow (thank you for your patience Bella) , first time mucking out a horse stall, leading, grooming, cleaning hooves..in fact first time being with a horse ! She has gathered hay, loaded and unloaded bales and help decimate the thistle population in the pastures. In her first 7 days Mizuki has driven for the fist time, found a "need for speed" on the quad, mowed little May the Jersey calf's pasture and driven the big Chevi truck. She has pruned trees and bathed the dogs, helped fix a broken fence and feed a hungry calf. It has really been a week of firsts....she is still smiling and there are two weeks to go !!! Thank you for accepting the challenge Mizuki. It has been a pleasure.
Take care, keep safe, M
Many many years ago ( about 50 I believe) Annie and I shared a rowing boat taking gentle trips around the stately lake which graced the grounds of Lark Hill Convent Boarding School. Today, July 4th seemed a good day to take another trip around a not so stately lake ( theoretically to clear the blackberry off the island) and a great day to have a little fun ! Neighborhood children happened to be passing as Annie and I did orbits around the said island...and were reluctant to leave anticipating us joining the fish and geese in the less than sanitary pond water !
One day we will remember that we have got old....but today WASN'T that day. I couldn't decide which photos.to choose..enjoy our insanity. Happy July 4th. Take care, keep safe, M
Nothing says "It's Spring" better than April showers, cherry blossom and leggy little lambs in the pasture. The geese have taken up residency on the ranch pond and the barn swallows have returned to the big cedar barn. The trees in the orchard are bursting with pink red and white blossoms and in the pastures we can almost watch the grass grow. Eddie the eagle is once again soaring on the thermals in the sky above the barns and Terry the turtle having survived his Winter hibernation is sharing the pond island with a somewhat reluctant Mrs. Goose. Brother John and his wife Jean have returned to the West Coast pending their relocation plans and have been spending time on the ranch during a particularly wet and windy Spring.....weeding in the rain really isn't much fun, collecting fallen tree limbs from sodden pastures is a challenge and reassigning a prominent spot for my new flag pole was high on my Spring wish list..thank you both. Jim got to drive the old Ford farm truck for the first time (big smile) and Greg and Jim have remodeled the farm gate way.....we are beginning to look quite tidy ! It has been a busy few weeks and clearly, it is going to be a busy Summer.
The cuckoo clock says it is bed time...Take care, keep safe and dry, M
Hours 5 to 10 of Tylers "Life on the Ranch" Graduation project......
Warm and snug in the ranch kitchen, I watched the rain drops rippling the surface of the murky pond. On the farm road, young Tyler and Greg were busily shoveling gravel into the many pot holes that have reappeared with the snow, frost and repetitive deluges that have been our Pacific North West Winter. Tyler took his turn driving the big green tractor back to the big cedar barn before helping chop fire wood, electing to scorn the gas powered wood splitter in favour (English spelling) of a muscle powered maul. He was still smiling at 3pm.....( I have to say, he was smiling, sitting in front of an open bag of home baked Chocolate chip cookies) in the barn kitchen. Luke the little "wanna be" farm dog was enjoying the attention and outside, it was still raining. Soggy wet livestock were returned to the barn from the pastures and grateful muddy horses to their warm dry stalls. When the barn was quiet and the barn residents all bedded down for the long Winter night, it was time to bottle feed the twin lambs. Ike and Mike are growing daily and spend much of their day anticipating and loudly demanding their next meal. As the big barn doors are closed for the night, we wonder what surprises will await us tomorrow. Take care, stay safe (and dry) M
Its me, Maureen, (the Boss)