A Trailer Trip

We have recently returned from our trip to California.  We drove the truck pulling our friend John’s trailer and took the scenic route planning a couple of stops along the way.   At long last we are getting started on the lowline cattle we have been planning to raise, so our first stop was at Lazy G Lowlines to look at their stock.  Glenn and Nancy have been very patient and helpful to us with our many beginner questions.  They have a very nice website with lots of information and pictures at http://www.lazyglowline.com/index.htm

This is Dusty our first heifer, she is bred and should calf in May. 

 

We plan to pick her up in March or as soon as we get the fence done!  We also looked at the bulls they have available for breeding stock.  This is a group of youngsters.

Most of these young bulls are bred from Bluey their red bull imported from Australia.  Don’t ask me why a red bull is named Bluey – something about it being a nickname for a red-haired person in Australia?  

People always ask us about the size of the lowlines.  They are about 60% the size of a standard Angus and no, they are not miniature cattle.  Here is a picture to give you an idea.  Nancy is not a very tall lady, a little over five feet is my guess. 

It is exciting to finally be making progress towards a herd of our own. 

We continued on down through Oregon and then down along the Redwood Highway which is a beautiful drive. We stopped for a look around Eureka which is a very quaint, old-fashioned town with fishing boats bobbing in the distance.

 

Then on to visit Rick’s cousin Mark and his wife Tammie at The Ranch on Salmon Creek.  Here is the link to their blog: http://www.theranchonsalmoncreek.blogspot.com/  It was great to see Mark and Tammie again and visit the ranch after many, many years.  We also met Eric and his new wife Johanna’s new puppy who really likes playing fetch.

Alas, neither Rick or I can remember the puppy’s name.  While Rick and Mark delivered firewood, Tammie and I toured around the ranch in the Kubota feeding cows and taking pictures of the beautiful scenery.  Here is the orchard at the upper cabin. 

I had forgotten how many hills and dales were on the ranch – and how big it felt compared to ours. 

We hadn’t really planned it, but while we were there a friend of theirs told us about some fence posts he had available.  We do need fences for the cattle, and we did have a trailer available so. . . Rick and Mark loaded the fence posts on the trailer and we headed on south.  We had a nice visit in Bakersfield; saw lots of family and friends and tended to company business.  All too soon it was time to load the spa – the reason we pulled the trailer in the first place – and head back. 

All we needed to complete the look was Granny in her rocking chair – and you can’t really see the refrigerator and all the other stuff loaded in the back of the truck.  Once we got it back up here, we had to get the spa off the trailer. Our favorite neighbor Roger’s tractor came in very handy.  What would we do without our friends and neighbors? 

So the spa is resting comfortably on a temporary base of – what else – fence posts.  I hope we are able to get a pad down and get it hooked up soon.  The warm water and jets at the end of the day is one of the things I miss from our lives in Bakersfield – and I think it will feel even better here.   Now that the spa is unloaded only the fence posts remain.

We drove around the perimeter of the pasture that needs to be fenced and dropped off a fencepost every few feet.  Now we just need to get them installed! 

Our dogs, Molly and Grizzly were very patient with us during the whole unloading process.  They were here at the ranch while we were gone.  We had one of our friends come and feed them and take them for a walk every day, but otherwise they were on their own.  You can see some of the sticks they collected from the surrounding woods in our absence.

It was a good trip and nice to see everyone and now we are back at our little ranch trying to get the pasture fenced and ready for cattle.  Anyone who would like to put in fences is invited to visit!  We will supply all the tools you need 🙂

The Little Tycoon

Good News!  The cables arrived for my camera and I can now download my pictures. . . but it is far too nice outside to stay in and work on the blog.  So, I’m sharing the picture that made us laugh and I will get to the rest of the story in the next few days when it is supposed to rain and I will be looking for an excuse to stay inside. 

I believe the future is in good hands with the next generation of business leaders.  This is Abby my brother Bob’s youngest daughter.  Isn’t it amazing how your pesky little brother could have such sweet, adorable children?  Anyway, Abby was at our apartment /office and she sat down at Rick’s desk.  This is her reaction to the budget worksheets.  I often have the same response 🙂

Back at the Ranch

We made it home from our driving trip to California safe and sound. I have some great pictures of the fence posts and spa perched on the back of John’s trailer which we towed down and back. Unfortunately, the camera cable I need to download those pictures to my computer and share them with you, is still firmly attached to my computer in my office in Bakersfield. Oh well, I’m sure I needed to buy a spare anyway 🙂

So, while we await the delivery of my new camera cable, I will share some pictures of Megan’s visit here over the holidays.

Though it was her very long Christmas vacation (five weeks, who gets five weeks off at Christmas except college kids?) she did help out. She drove the little garden tractor and backed it up next to the wood pile to get a load of firewood.

Unfortunately for her, she apparently got her trailer backing skills from her mother. While I have improved a little with much trial and many errors, I still have to think way too hard about which way to turn the wheel, and the trailer still sometimes goes the wrong way.  Thank goodness there is no one taking pictures of my efforts to post!  There are some advantages to being the picture taker 🙂   When I remember Rick backing our 5th wheel – with the boat behind that – down our long driveway in Bakersfield, I am now truly impressed. If you back a trailer behind a trailer do turn the wheel the same way as without a trailer? Way too complicated for me.

She did eventually get the trailer in the right place (without picking up the trailer and moving it by hand) and we loaded up the firewood.

We took time to take a walk down by the river and see some of the huge cedar trees growing there. It makes you feel kind of small and insignificant to stand next to these giants.

Megan is now back in Aggieland finishing her junior year – and I’m sure working and studying very diligently.

Country Cousins

We took a drive down the coast of California and saw some beautiful sights; along the way we stopped to visit Rick’s cousin Mark and his wife Tammie at their ranch in northern California.  We had been meaning to stop by and visit for some time, but something always seemed to come up.  The last time we visited the The Ranch on Salmon Creek was in 1990 which was way too long  between visits.  

Mark and Tammie’s blog – here is the link:

 http://www.theranchonsalmoncreek.blogspot.com/

was the inspiration behind ours.  We loved being able to read about what they were doing and the see pictures of their ranch and thought it would be a great way to keep our family and friends up to date on what we are doing. 

Their ranch has hills, dales and lots of streams and ponds.  Beautiful scenery wherever you look.  

The cattle  and horses are scattered over the hills which are spring green.

They all come running when they hear Tammie toot the horn on the Kubota – it’s like ringing the dinner bell.

Some of the horses Tammie says she has too many of.

I love the ponds, they are just gorgeous – wish we had one on our place!

While Tammie and I were feeding critters, Rick and Mark loaded firewood and made a delivery. 

They had an exciting time sliding the truck and trailer down the slick and muddy hillside taking a “shortcut” home.   Seems like every time those two get together in a vehicle it is an adventure – at least this time they didn’t have to walk home or use a tractor to get the vehicle out.

We were even able to pick up some posts from them that will be great for our fences; too bad they didn’t come with delivery and installation 🙂

It was great to see Mark and Tammie and have time to visit and catch up on each other’s lives.  I hope they come up and see us soon so we can return the hospitality.

An El Niño Winter

Due to the El Niño weather pattern this year, we have just experienced the warmest January ever recorded here – quite a contrast to last year when there was five feet of snow on the ground at this time. 

It was absolutely beautiful.

But the snow did make it difficult to maneuver around, much less get anything accomplished outside.

This year we had about a week of below freezing temperatures, and one snowstorm before Christmas which brought us about 6 inches of snow.  It only lasted a few days, then the rains washed it away – and that is it for the cold weather and snow this year, at least so far. 

Since the weather has been so cooperative, we have been able to work on some of our many outside projects.  The first was to put chicken wire around the trees in the orchard so the chickens could “free range” there.  The chickens probably wouldn’t do any damage to the young fruit (apples, cherry, plum and peach) trees, but they would annihilate my daffodils and tulips planted all around the trees.  We also fenced them out of the perennial beds of strawberries and asparagus. 

It is the best of both worlds for the chickens; they roam around in the fresh air and eat all the greens and bugs they want, and the 6 foot fence keeps them safe from the critters around here that would eat them.

The weather has been so mild that the tulips are starting to come up already!  The locals predict that we will have another freezing spell in the spring  – I hope not.

We have also been working on putting in a road back to the shed. 

The job has been a lot easier since we have our favorite neighbor Roger’s tractor to use and the ground is dry enough to use it.

Rick moved a big cedar log which will be the edge for the gravel we will put down.

The mild weather has been fine for us, but it is really hard for the people planning the Winter Olympics in a few weeks in Vancouver (about 120 miles north of here) as they are in the same El Niño weather pattern and there is not a lot of snow there either.  Most of the events taking place in Vancouver are indoor, but there are a few outdoors which require snow.  There were pictures in the paper of them using straw bales and dirt to build ramps and then putting what little snow they have on the top like frosting.  The good news is there is enough snow farther up (75 miles) in the mountains at Whistler which is where skiing and mountain events will take place.

We know from experience most winters won’t be this easy, but we are enjoying this one.