Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014

We were excited when Austin's work plans changed, enabling us to go to his grandma's a/k/a Great Regnier house for the Easter Weekend. Here are a few pictures and snippets from the weekend. 

It's about a three and a half hour drive to Great Regnier's house. It took us four and a half hours to get there. Talk about ready to get out of the vehicle. 

We were also really ready to see Great Regnier. Josie made sure she got plenty of hugs and attention. Great Regnier is probably grateful for the break from her. 

Extra bonus in the form of Nana and Papa. 



Saturday night, we got to visit some of our good friends, the Fish family. We had a great time seeing all of Cathy's animals (goats, horses, puppies, dogs, hedgehogs, geese, ducks, etc.).  It took  a great deal of self control but Degnan managed to tell all of the humans "Hi" before running to the barn to see everything. The kid loves his animals. Yesterday, he and I went for a walk to see if there were any horses near Great Regnier's house. No luck. Last night at bed time, he told me that he was ready to go home. He missed his bed and his animals. He can't go too long without animals. 

We cleaned ourselves up early this morning and made it to church. The kids didn't even get to hunt eggs beforehand. 


The trip home only took the three and half hours it was supposed to but it sure seemed longer. In spite of naps and a few rounds of The Animal Game, boredom set in. The kids made up a "neat" game called "Whose Feet Smell the Worst?"  They all smelled awful. We couldn't get out of the truck fast enough. 

It was a great weekend celebrating with family and friends. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Goodbye Old Friend

Grateful kids and parents in my family are saying goodbye to a really good friend and teacher.  Clip Clop had the nerve to pass away this afternoon.  Ooof, that is a hard one to type.  I could blame my level of hormones on my emotional level but it wouldn't be true.  I loved that pony.  My kids loved that pony.  My cousins loved that pony.  Why wouldn't we?  He did a lot for all of us. 
 
He taught us that pants aren't nearly as important as getting up and enjoying a summer day before it gets too hot.  See Morning Ride.  It is one of my very favorite moments between a pony and a little girl.
 
He taught parents to put their trust in a pony. 
 
He was a constant.
 
He was the first ride for more than one. 
 
He taught the true way of the cowboy. 
 
 
He taught the lesson of look after each other.
 
He taught that size doesn't matter when it comes to getting a job done. 
 
He introduced the world of the big guys. 
 
 He taught cowgirls and cowboys.
 
He knew you didn't have to dress a certain way to be a real cowgirl.
 
He agreed to be humiliated to make little girl Halloween costumes a hit.
 
 He paraded on hot asphalt.
 
He picked sunflowers and played "Tag".
 
He went for leisurely strolls down the road.
 
He brought out big smiles.
 
 He brought out big tears.
 
 
He taught patience through his own and occasionally, his lack thereof.
 
He taught us sharing with our loved ones.  Micaela and Will (my cousins) shared him with our kids. 
 
He taught us to retire with dignity and a full bucket.
 
 
Just as quickly and with dignity, he agreed to come out of retirement to help a few other little kids love a pony.

Goodbye old friend.  We are forever grateful for all that we know you did for us and more importantly, all that we never knew to thank you for.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Cleaning

It seems like everyone is spring cleaning. They are scrubbing, organizing and polishing. I bet their houses look amazing. Ours?  Not so much. In spite of spending most of a beautiful Friday inside cleaning, the house reverted back to this in no time yesterday. 



I have a lot of places to snap these type of shots but you get the idea. Why doesn't it last?  Well, a large reason is three kids who don't share the vision of orderly cleanliness. The other reason is we were spring cleaning outside all day yesterday. We have more spring cleaning to so outside than in. 

We spring cleaned some dead cedars that fell victim to high heat and drought. 


 That is one big pile of dead trees waiting for some rain and a turn in the burn pile. 

What do the creepy country kids do while Austin cuts down trees and I oversee?






They play and they play HARD. 

They also play dirty. 



Look closely. That is a fine layer of dirt all over the bottom of the tub. 

For the record, I prefer the outdoor spring cleaning to the indoor any day. Alas, the wind is supposed to blow up to 40 mph today so I will be doing the indoor version today. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Having It All At Seven

It's hard to believe that Degnan was born seven years ago. So much of the time has gone by so fast. 

I swear he was just this little. 

Yet, it seems like he's always been here. I can't remember what the days were like before I had my grown up kid around. 

His best fun is had when he is working. Just today, he marveled at people who don't think it's fun to clean stalls. He can't understand it. 

When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he replied "I don't really need anything. I have everything I need. I have been around for seven years."  In his world, he just needs his horses, his cattle, his chores and his family. Oh, and a lot of floor space for his continually growing indoor ranch. 


He has his best friends. 

He has it all. He makes us feel like we have it all, as well. He is a good reminder to keep it simple and enjoy it. 

Happy birthday, Degnan!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Day Off

Last night, Austin said three words to me that melted my heart, "Take tomorrow off."  I wasn't sure why he was giving me the break but I was taking it. My biggest plan for my day off was a nap. It didn't happen. What happened to my nap?

First of all, my day off couldn't start until after church. Austin's a great guy and super dad but public hair and matching clothes escape him. I didn't mind putting my break off for a few hours. After church, we went to check our cows. I figured it would be a quick count and off to napville I would go. What was I thinking?  Napville was passed up for Calfville. We discovered one of our new calves was really weak. Judging from the looks of mama cow's utter, the calf hadn't eaten. We spent the afternoon bringing them in and doing damage control. 

I got the calf to take a bottle of replacement milk. 


Excuse the picture quality. Makenna was our photographer. This was a great time to teach the creepy country kids what teaching a calf to take a bottle is all about. 
They are naturals. They are also still excited about this kind of job. That won't last long after they have their first bucket calf. 

Next step was to get the cow into a chute and milk her out. I was afraid we weren't going to have much luck. Maybe it was luck of the Irish but the cow was a champ. 
*more photography by Makenna 

After about thirty minutes of milking, we had relieved her of a lot of pressure and hopefully, mastitis. I have the sore forearms to show for it. I wouldn't make it as a milk maid. Austin says he isn't interested in dairy farming anytime soon. 

While we milked, the kids and their friends, honed their feeding skills. 


We had done what we could for the time being. We turned the cow out to be with her calf.  All we could do was wait to see if they would figure out a way to make it work. 

We are still waiting to see if our work is done. The calf had to have another bottle tonight. I have hope, though. As we walked to the house, the calf was trying to eat the old fashioned way. The cow is being patient like good moms are. Her Sunday nap was probably ruined, too. I may not have gotten my nap but I still had a pretty good "day off".

My Day Off

Last night, Austin said three words to me that melted my heart, "Take tomorrow off."  I wasn't sure why he was giving me the break but I was taking it. My biggest plan for my day off was a nap. It didn't happen. What happened to my nap?

First of all, my day off couldn't start until after church. Austin's a great guy and super dad but public hair and matching clothes escape him. I didn't mind putting my break off for a few hours. After church, we went to check our cows. I figured it would be a quick count and off to napville I would go. What was I thinking?  Napville was passed up for Calfville. We discovered one of our new calves was really weak. Judging from the looks of mama cow's utter, the calf hadn't eaten. We spent the afternoon bringing them in and doing damage control. 

I got the calf to take a bottle of replacement milk. 


Excuse the picture quality. Makenna was our photographer. This was a great time to teach the creepy country kids what teaching a calf to take a bottle is all about. 
They are naturals. They are also still excited about this kind of job. That won't last long after they have their first bucket calf. 

Next step was to get the cow into a chute and milk her out. I was afraid we weren't going to have much luck. Maybe it was luck of the Irish but the cow was a champ. 
*more photography by Makenna 

After about thirty minutes of milking, we had relieved her of a lot of pressure and hopefully, mastitis. I have the sore forearms to show for it. I wouldn't make it as a milk maid. Austin says he isn't interested in dairy farming anytime soon. 

While we milked, the kids and their friends, honed their feeding skills. 


We had done what we could for the time being. We turned the cow out to be with her calf.  All we could do was wait to see if they would figure out a way to make it work. 

We are still waiting to see if our work is done. The calf had to have another bottle tonight. I have hope, though. As we walked to the house, the calf was trying to eat the old fashioned way. The cow is being patient like good moms are. Her Sunday nap was probably ruined, too. I may not have gotten my nap but I still had a pretty good "day off".