Monday, May 28, 2012

SoCal Comes to Oregon

Our best, long time pals from Escondido (just north of San Diego) John and Jane drove up for the weekend to visit and pick up the car hauler and generally decompress and have a great time.  It was awesome getting together again for the first time in nearly 3 years!  On Saturday, we spent the day winery-hopping, starting close to home at Pfeiffer in Junction City, then tooling down to La Velle in Elmira, hitting King Estate in the Lorane Valley for a light repast and finally our fave, Sweet Cheeks just a bit up the road from King Estate.  It was a great day, with Dale being our driver and John along for the ride and rootbeer floats at Hillbilly Coffee in Veneta.  Sunday we just hung out at the ranch, playing poker, catching up and just relaxing.  This morning we saw them off back home with the Sloan Qwik-Load car hauler.  Dale originally bought that trailer to haul first the Pinto, then the Corvette Z06 and Viper to the autocrosses down in San Diego.  John and Jane actually used it to haul the Viper up here for us when we moved.  We then sold it to John and Jane to haul their Z06 to the races until they stopped racing, whereupon we bought it BACK from them to use on the ranch.  Only, it proved to be unable to safely haul the Kubota L5030 tractor, so we used it primarily for hauling long stuff, like big timber, gates and panels.  Now that we have Really Big Red, we're upgrading to a long gooseneck trailer that will haul the tractor, so John and Jane once again bought it back from us to haul John's new Mustang GT to the races.  That trailer sure does get around on the west coast.

It was sad to see them go after such a short visit, but hopefully one day they'll be able to come up and spend some serious time at the ranch.  And at the local wineries.  We didn't even put a scratch in the winery list on Saturday.

Dale, Jane and John at Pfeiffer

King Estate

King Estate

King Estate.  The yellow is the scourge of the Northwest, Scotch Broom.  A pox upon the misguided cretin who thought it 'pretty' and hoped that cattle would find it palatable (they don't)

Dale and John at King Estate, Jellybean in the background

Jane bought a print of this one at Sweet Cheeks.  Did I mention she's a cat person?  Oh yeah, her jacket's not open enough to see her shirt

The view from Sweet Cheeks

Jane and Ho Dog in front of the poo flinger

Just Big, haulin' the trailer back home to SoCal

First Roses of 2012

I didn't get shots of the others, but these sure were great!

2 shrub 'Lyda Rose' bushes flanks a climbing 'Alchymist' in the centre

'Alchymist' is climbing shrub rose from Kordes of Germany dating to 1956, once blooming, but oh what a bloom!

Both colour, form and fragrance are outstanding.  Its only flaw is that up here in the Pacific Northwest, it will blackspot, as will a lot of roses that have any yellow roses in their background

Flower Arranging is Fun

Nobody will ever mistake me for an actual professional flower arranger

Spiffy yellow and white iris and brilliant, giant red-purple paeonies, flanked by that which gives me flower arranging inspiration, wine.  That which also probably explains why my arrangements are a bit 'off', colour- and form-wise

The kitchen window gang.  My own sweet peas 'Perfect Storm' named in honour of Trish's beloved angel Jag, pansies and a vase full of free-range snapdragons

A Father and Son

Roar and his son Zamora share a quiet moment together, just before Zam got up and started being a bratty child, as usual

More Holly Pix

Angel Holly's owner Ellie sent along a bunch of pictures to share.  Enjoy!

Holly and blue merle pal Shawnee find tulle enticing

With Ellie's son Ryan.  Must have been Silly Hat Day

Keeping Ryan company when he was a bit under the weather

On Ellie's 60th birthday a few years back

More silly hats, now complete with scarves

Crashing a wedding, 2007

Halloween, 2009


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stick Up Artist

This morning, I was doing the daily nose count when I saw something odd going on with Ruffie.  She had her butt pointed towards me, and I could see a light coloured something that appeared to be hanging down behind her.  A moment of panic - she's not due until early August - then I got the binoc's out and saw that she appeared to just be straddling a limb that had fallen.  The cows love to use the fallen limbs off the ancient oaks as scratching posts, but then she started to walk, and I realized that the stick was somehow attatched to her!  I called Dale for help, and we went out and tried to untangle it from her tail, which didn't exactly make her too happy, as it was whacking her under the belly every time Dale tried to untwist it.  He finally got a coupla turns on it as Ruffie was pelting over the pasture and she kicked it free.  Funny what those cows will get into, left to their own devices!

Should Have Been

Today, our little man Gizmo would have been 15 years old, and we have no doubt that he would have been just as ornery and demanding as he was from the moment we brought him home.  Dale even mentioned today that he, just as I, still looks at Gizmo's couch, expecting to see him peek over his bed and see if there was anything going on that he needed to supervise or eat.

Hard to believe that tomorrow marks 6 months to the day that the great horned owl swept him away into the icy darkness, 2 days before Christmas.  My pal Bonnie found this bottle of wine for me, and in between rain showers I dashed out for a final birthday picture in front of the birthday bush.  The Papillon pictured looks so very much like him as a puppy it hurts.  Bonnie says the wine is pretty darn good, so we might just tip a glass to the little old man tonite

More Sherman Pix

Laura sent along some other pictures of Sherman for us to enjoy, and I re-loaded a couple from the previous post that should be larger now

Em, back from college September 2011

Emily, a bit younger than the first pictures above

Big bro Josh

In Memorium

In Memorium

Morgan Rivers Raisin' a Ruckus


23 November 1997 - 21 May 2012

One of the last of the golden Jack X Jazzee kids

Dearly loved and much missed by Doug, Laura, Em and Josh

14 years, with sister Catera

Gizmo, a whopping 6 months older, beating up poor baby Sherman, early 1998

With a very young Emilie out hiking, his fave thing

With Em's big brother Josh

And with mom Laura

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stump Grinders

Just before Herb's Bend on Park is Sybil's Stump, so named because she deemed it necessary to jump up on every time she went by it.  Sometimes momma Cricket joins her, but Gem the BC isn't so keen on getting up there.  Dale gently convinced her it was okay, so she joined her gal pals up there yesterday.  Cricket had a bit of a bump (okay, a SCARY bit of a bump) on the way down; you can see a small stump sticking up in front of the big stump.  She hit that, chest-first, on the way down after a mid-air collision with Gem.  She's a bit sore today, but pretty much okay

Sybil easily leaps up

She surveys the surrounding area, checking for anything that might need to be chased and/or killed

And then leaps lightly down again

Dale and Hoke convince Gem the BC it's okay

Cricket pops up, while Dale helps Gem again (you can't see her but she's behind Dale)

The girls, Dale and Hoke.  The stump Cricket is about to become familiar with is directly below her