If You Can’t Beat ‘Em . . .

This is our son Alex’s cat Patches.  Patches has long been a city dwelling house/apartment cat and now that Alex has moved, she has been transplanted here to the ranch.  She is about 16 years old, and I don’t know how old that would make her in “cat years.”  She is having a bit of an adjustment to rural life.

At first she made it pretty clear she did not much appreciate ranch life or any of the other critters around here.  Though she lives in the shed with our other cats Harry and Bess she does not usually associate with them. Harry tries to play with her but she is a crotchety old thing and she ignores him.

I think she is starting to loosen up and fit in though.


The dust she is so happily rolling around in is actually dried cow manure.  I think she has shed some of her big city ways.

Weekend at the Ranch – Part 2

At long last I am getting back to the Weekend at the Ranch.  However, so much time has now passed that we have two weekend visits to cover.  I have decided that though these are two separate events weeks apart involving some but not all of the same people, in the interest of convenience – my own – I will treat them as one.  Confused yet?  Good, let’s continue.

Nick has a very elaborate method for starting a fire.  It does work well.

Both weekends we grilled food on the open fire under the gazebo.  Everything tastes better grilled on the open fire and grilled asparagus is one of my favorites.

The grass-fed beef hamburgers were delicious if I do say so myself.

Then it was on to shooting. I’ve noticed a pattern.  Whenever Nick is here there is fire and shooting – not necessarily in that order.  First you must construct the targets.

Some of the targets are more professional than others. I guess it is a good thing we hadn’t been to the dump lately so we had lots of empty containers to choose from.

  Riah is a pretty good shot.

Nick shooting his new gun; every time I see him he has a new gun.   I would tell you what type of gun it is and what caliber and velocity and such except I have no idea.  I’m not into guns.

Rick takes his turn shooting. I would show you pictures of me displaying my shooting prowess except I really don’t shoot.  My family says if I happen to be aiming at you with a gun,  you would be pretty safe because I don’t hit anything I’m aiming at. I would be really offended by that if it weren’t true.

Nick also got to play with his chainsaw.  These little alders weren’t much of a challenge though.

And then we are back to shooting again, and everyone took their turn. The grumpy old guys watched.


Then it was their turn.

The well-dressed urbanites also participated.

Some of us take our shooting a lot more seriously than others.

I couldn’t decide on the best caption for this picture.  Either “The Family That Shoots Together Stays Together” or Haven’t We Seen These Folks on That Movie Deliverance?”

A good time was had by all on both weekends and it was nice to be able to spend some time with our family.


The new little heifer calf is doing very well and becoming quite an adventurer.  She is out and about running around the pasture and avidly exploring new territory.  Her Mama does not really approve and keeps urging caution; that is the lot of Mamas everywhere I think.

We’ve named the new little girl Millie.  That is good news for Millie – having a name instead of a number means we don’t plan to eat her.

Watching Dusty with her new calf is very interesting to me.  She knows instinctively what to do and is very protective of her baby.

I can think of some humans who could take a lesson from this cow.

New Calf

A new resident has joined us here at the ranch.  This cute little heifer calf was born today.

Mother and baby are both doing very well.  It is amazing how quickly these new little ones are up and nursing.  At first they take awkward, wobbly steps and then in no time they are running around.

Mama Dusty is keeping a close eye on her new baby.  As is typical with Lowline Angus, Dusty had no trouble calving.  This calf is from our bull Nick who we just recently sold.

Nick is a very calm, easy-going critter and we hope the new calf inherits that temperment.

Weekend at the Ranch

Nick and Riah came up to spend the weekend with us couple of weeks ago.  I believe I have mentioned that we sometimes eat very well here; usually when our guests cook.

This weekend was no exception.  Nick and Riah are fellow cheesecake aficionados and they have a cookbook with hundreds of cheesecake recipes.  I feel it is my civic duty to help them try as many as possible.

This particular cheesecake was made with Oreos and it was delicious!  Rick, as you might have guessed, does not like cheesecake.  It was so good we even scraped the mixing bowl.

We didn’t want to waste a bit.  The Oreo cheesecake mixture was pretty good on graham crackers too.

Since Rick doesn’t like cheesecake and complained a lot, Nick and Riah very graciously made him a chocolate cake.

We did get a few things done besides eating.  Rick, Nick and Riah stretched and nailed off the fence around the garden.  I took pictures – somebody has to document things around here.

The tractor loaned to us by our favorite neighbors, Roger and Melanie, was the perfect weight to pull the fence stretcher against.  If I haven’t mentioned it lately, let me say again how very much we appreciate Roger and Melanie and their generosity! They would be our favorite neighbors without a tractor.

Riah learned to raise and lower the bucket on the tractor.  Smart girl.  I can tell you from experience that if you don’t know how to operate the power tools you end up doing something really fun like picking up rocks.

You still sometimes end up doing manual labor.  Riah is holding the wire while Nick cuts it off.

Of course no job would be complete here without Grizzly “helping.”

Grizzly just does not comprehend that he is in the way.  Doesn’t our fence look nice now?  It had been tacked in place “temporarily” for three years.  We wanted to make sure it had time to acclimate.

And then it was time to prepare for our next meal.


Details to follow.