It’s Always Something

It’s been a challenge to keep this blog up to date lately – for a variety of reasons. Moving cattle, rain, board meetings, hair appointments, quilting class, pulling meat orders, meat deliveries, moving the cattle again to fresh grass – the list goes on. But the biggest reason is this:






Above is what our internet has looked like lately – nothing!

This is a satellite. We have satellite internet because we live in the middle of nowhere and DSL is not available. Our satellite has had issues lately. Beam 62 is not behaving.

This is a satellite dish, we have a new one now, as well as all new cable lines and a new transmitter and probably some other technical stuff I forgot.

We’ve still been having issues. I told you about beam 62 – right? Not doing well at all. The engineers are working on it (we hope they hurry).   We’ve met some really nice (and one really terrible) satellite internet installation and repair technicians. This is not a picture of their equipment – sorry I didn’t take one.

It turns out the really good technician is here in the north country on a temporary assignment. He’s actually from Frazier Park, California. About 45 miles from our hometown. We are very glad they sent him because the first guy was hopeless and completely unacceptable. So, if you are signing up for satellite internet service, my advice is:  avoid Beam 62 and ask for Phillip.

Spring Round-Up

Now that spring has finally arrived at the ranch – it was 81 degrees yesterday! – it is time to get the cattle onto their summer pasture. The new working pens, alley, chute and squeeze that Rick and Alex have worked so hard to build was finished just in time.

We put the cattle through our new system and it all went really well. Each animal was weighed, tagged, vaccinated, wormed and checked by the vet. Our vet was really impressed with how well the bovines had wintered over – yes! It is always nice to hear good news from the vet.

After a day’s rest for the humans and the bovines, we put them through the chute again and loaded them in the trailer for the long trek – OK so it is actually only a half mile – down the road to our summer pasture.

Cattle grazing on fresh, green grass. That is a good thing.  Rick and Alex got our new, bigger water tank set and filled.

The cattle seemed to enjoy checking out the new pasture. We will be moving them to a fresh pasture in a week or so, depending on how the grass holds out.

MIG:  Managed Intensive Grazing it is called. Fresh grass for the cattle and time for the pastures to recover. Good for both.

The Ranch in Wax

I am on my way out the door for the “Great Cattle Round-Up” but before I go I had to share this. Our London friend at Win Lose or Draw made a wax drawing (I hope it is a drawing not a painting or an impression?? – I know nothing about art) of the ranch.

Isn’t that cool? I have no artistic ability at all, so anyone who can form a recognizable image amazes me. How you would even “draw” with wax baffles me, but I am so impressed – great job! And feel free to use the ranch as an inspiration any time.

Spring Calves

Spring is a beautiful time of year here on the ranch, and I think it has finally arrived. Big puffy white clouds in the sky and a gentle warm breeze.

Besides the flowers which are also blooming, we have new calves.

Both of our bred heifers for this season have given birth with no problems and we have healthy, strong calves. These two are the start of our new grass fed beef breeding program and it is nice to see all the hard work yielding great results.

The calf on the left is a heifer and on the right is a bull calf two weeks younger. They love to run and play, then flop down for a nap in the sun.

And they never get too far away from one of the mamas.

Happy Birthday Brandon!

Today is our son-in-law Brandon’s birthday.  Here he is a few years ago with his Grandfather, which in Polish is Staczyk.

We did not know Brandon when these two pictures were taken, but obviously he was a seriously cute kid.

Flashing forward a few years, when your 19-year-old freshman in college, 1200 miles away from home, daughter calls to tell you she’s met Mr. Wonderful – well, I admit I was a bit skeptical.  After we met Brandon though we agreed, he is a good guy.

And I knew he was serious about my daughter when the above picture was taken. You may not be able to tell, but in the bag Megan is holding is her cat, Lucky. The three of them are in the airport about to embark on a very long odyssey of delayed flights and extended layovers with a cranky cat who had to be sedated just to get her in the traveling bag. Let’s just say Lucky doesn’t travel well – and actually neither does Megan though she didn’t have to be sedated.  Brandon journeyed with both of them all the way to Texas. Just to show no good deed goes unpunished, here is Lucky in Texas a few months later.

She is sitting in the middle of Brandon’s laptop computer keyboard. She does that just to be annoying.

We’ve had some adventures with Brandon in the years we’ve known him, including this one where he had to carry the backpack with the water bottles all the way up to the summit of the Cascade Trail which as I recall was approximately 25 miles (though that could just be my faulty memory). We all did make it up there – though some of us just barely. And isn’t the view incredible?

Here is one of  Megan and Brandon’s engagement pictures – aren’t they adorable?

The happy couple at their wedding.

So Happy Birthday Brandon! We are glad you are in our family.


I suppose when you are dealing with animals, you are going to get the odd thing happen now and again. When I was collecting eggs the other day this is what I found.

Notice anything unusual?

The egg on the left has no shell. I’d heard of that happening before, but never seen one. It was covered by a thin membrane and was squishy to the touch.

I slit the membrane open with a knife and inside it looked like a regular egg. The shell just didn’t make it on this egg. Odd.