It was a July to remember. Our friends from Meisner, Germany - Michaela and Matthias and their 3 wonderful children Anni, Falc and Finn arrived via rented RV late one night, followed the next day by my little bro Stan, sister-in-law Steph and their son Spencer from California in their RV and then my little bro Jim, fiancee Vonnie and her two sons Calvin and Christopher from Wisconsin. Because we didn't have a whole lot of time, we did what we could to show them all how we live out here in the Pacific Northwest, altho both Jim and Stan have been here before. It was great to see everyone! I hadn't seen Michaela since the 1998 Australian Shepherd Club of America National Specialty in Greeley, Colorado, where she did her best to go home with Ho Dog's mom Catera, but settle for his brother Cedric instead. Now we are sending along Timber from this litter to Germany. I will be teaching him German so that he will be bi-lingual, just like the entire family. The kids had a great time together, especially Spencer and Falc, as they are the same age and speak the universal language - electronics and RC cars, bikes and skateboards. Anni was an exchange student in Vermont last year, and Finn hopes to become one this year as well, possibly right here in Oregon.
We managed to hit the coast, the homestead, the sawmill and a fabric shop and just generally hang out and relax a little under the trees. We did a hayride as well on the ranch and spent some time over at Don and Donna's with Jan and all the neat logging equipment and trucks Don has. I think everyone had a great time, and it was such a wonderful end to the visit when we surprised Stan with a birthday cake for his 50th birthday (in October). We joked that all of us have to go elsewhere for our 50th; I went to Wisconsin, Stan to Oregon so Jim's slated for California in 2 years.
It was great getting to meet Michaela's family and spend time with my bro's and their families. We really enjoyed all our visitors this summer and hope we sent them home with great memories of the ranch.
|Stan's RV encampment|
|The hayride tours the south pasture|
|'Holding up' the Legacy Oregon White oak in the south pasture|
|We require any houseguest spending more than two days at the ranch to chip in with the chores. Here, Spencer and one of Vonnie's boys and Falc I think give Pony the 29 year old Saddlebred gelding his daily dose of attention|
|Everyone admiring the cows and of course, Roar the lazy bull who won't even get up to go say hi|
|Anni and Christopher with Pony and Pepperpot the goat|
|Jim takes pix at Heceta Head light house, under repairs for the summer unfortunately|
|On the beach at one of the many waysides on the way up to Newport. This was the first time for the two boys from Wisconsin seeing the Pacific Ocean|
|The gang - me, Vonnie, Steph in the swing, Spencer, Jim and Stan behind, Christopher and Calvin in front on the ground and of course, camera hound Ho Dog|
|Spencer really liked the putt-putt, especially with Ho Dog in it|
|Jim, Vonnie and the boys head for home|
|Stan, Steph and Spencer head for home|
|And off they go|
|The boys just loved Ho Dog, and he of course adored the attention. They live with Sybil's brother Cody, who is nothing more than a very young red merle Ho Dog|