Sunday, August 31, 2014

Flora Plena

Late summer flowers - enjoy!
 This is a sport from my 'Peppermint Twist' phlox that popped up this year. Gorgeous!
 Gomphrena 'Fireworks' and Gaura in the middle
A sport of the above cuphea that cropped up in the barrel

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Big Beau at 5 Months

No, really.  He will be 5 months old next week.  By then, he'll be about 550 pounds.  Holy COW, literally

Man on the Moooooove

Bert, 5 months next week, showing off his nice and easy movement, trying to escape the pest with the camera dogging him all over the pasture

Three on the Hoof

Old timers like me know all about the ol' 'Three on the tree' method of manual shifting.  Thus, we shift focus to three on the hoof here.  Bert, Bodie and big sister Banshee on a cool, rainy late summer day, makin' tracks

Banshee's Butt

It's just such a NICE butt, I can't help myself.  Banshee at nearly 7 months, heads home Sunday with new owner Zoe of Bend, Oregon.  Congrats to Zoe and best wishes for a very successful show career for her and Banshee next season!

Goodbye to Bodie

This afternoon, we said goodbye to Bodie, headed to Ridgefield, Washington to be Justin's son Trenton's 4H steer.  We congratulate Trenton on his new boy and wish them the very best of success!

Bringin' The BOOM!

Uber cutie Boomer at a month.  Is he really only a month old???  Such a poser already!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Gated Community

Or, since we do have a WGC Saddlebred in residence, maybe it should read 'Gaited' Community.  Either way, it's DONE!!  The lovely solar powered LED lights for the tops of the gateposts are on order and Craig already welded up the fittings for them so we just have to slide them on, tighten them down and enjoy.  Still awaiting a few adjustments and the inside keypad; a small emergency vet call by OSU for Bert the calf on Friday morning saw them accidently get locked inside because I forgot to mention the keypad was only on the outside of the gatepost at the moment, and the only other one in sight was the garage door opener one for the dairy barn garage, which obviously didn't work very well.  But, we eventually got them released and Bert is fine, so it all worked out.
It will be nice to 'dress' the gate at holidays.  I saw a totally cool, realistic 5' plastic human skeleton, fully posable, that I have plans for.  And solar LED light strings have come miles since I ordered my first ones a few years ago, so some of those are in the works as well.  But the biggest thing is that now Gem the Border Collie is fully contained; no more nighttime potty excursions over to the park for her.  And when folks come over with their dogs to play, peace of mind means no longer having to watch them like a hawk to keep track of how close to the road they get.
Plus, it just dresses the joint up some, don't it?

 We did add a man gate for those times we don't want to open the big guy

'Fireworks' and Friend

Gomphrena 'Fireworks' and its little yellow pal in the garden

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We've Got a Gate!!

Try to imagine my utter shock this morning.  The driveway alarum went off fairly early, but we weren't expecting anyone and it wasn't time for the Pacific Power meter reader yet, waaaay too early for UPS or FedEx.  And then it kept going off.  I figured it was a bit late for the damn pesky deer that seems to enjoy playing with it in the wee hours, causing me to send Cricket out to chase it off.  And when I looked out the kitchen window to see if the wasps were swarming around the transmitter again, I nearly dropped my coffee.  There was a work van, and a trailer, and in that trailer was a gorgeous piece of art otherwise known as our driveway gate!!  Craig got his act together finally and with a new crew, came out to FINALLY, FINALLY install our gate we've been awaiting for so long!
They got the grunt work done today, setting and welding the monster in place, fitting up the operator bits and brackets, installing the side panels and tomorrow, we will have a working gate!  He has given up on the original artist who was making the stainless steel cutouts and lettering and is in the process of finding someone else to do that, but that's something that can be installed any time.  We are just happy to finally be able to contain the Border Collie who tends to wander across the street to check out what's going on at the park occasionally, and to prevent the dogs that clueless people  cut loose at the park and have zero control over from ending up in the yard, fence fighting with our dogs or chasing the stock along the fenceline.
It's been a long time coming, and now it's nearly there

Cloud Circus

I just cannot help myself.  I walk outside to go feed the stock, and rush back in to grab the camera because it's just too cool to pass up.
 The colour of those clouds was just jaw dropping
 I call these 'whale sheep' of the sky.  Or woolley whales.  Or, well, something like that.  Just looked like a bunch of sheep with no legs powering thru the water in my imagination anyway

Sunday, August 17, 2014

More Butter Please

Into the second planting of 'Mirai' corn now, and 'That's Delicious!', the third planting, is barely a week away from first harvest

Deck Redo Redux

So, it was pathetic.  After all the backbreaking hours last summer of prepping the deck for the Rust-o-Leum Restore coating, coupled with the time spent carefully applying the Restore not to mention the hideously expensive cost, the first rains a month later saw the first bubble appear in the coating.  Throughout the fall, winter and spring, and this IS the Pacific Northwest, we get RAIN, usually LOTS of it, bigger and bigger sections of the coating bubbled up and then began peeling away.  Soon, it appeared that the deck once again had leprosy, just as it had for the past 8 years.  And, once again, we spent many backbreaking hours reprepping the deck, removing all the not even a year old coating of Restore.  Dale got mad and got out his big grinder and went after it ruthlessly.  I favoured my knife, spending many hours peeling up large strips and chunks of the Restore.  If you've ever had a bad sunburn, yeah, it was like that.  Only much less satisfying, gross as that may be.
We are trying it one more time.  Much to our absolute joy, the cost of a bucket of Restore went up $10 in price since last summer.  But, we did get it done before the first of our summer visitors arrived.  It doesn't quite match in colour but we figure it's pretty close and eventually, if it lasts this time, it'll fade together. 
This is the last shot at it.  After all the money and time we've spent trying to make this deck presentable over the past 8 years, the next step is to start replacing the cedar with Trex - also a very costly job, but had we just done that from the start 8 years ago, we'd probably be money ahead by now.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pumped about Pumpkins

There is no more containing it.  Not only has the 'Kakai' pumpkin totally escaped all bounds, so has the 'Li'l Sweet' cantaloupes.  I've lost count of how many pumpkins are on this ONE plant (yes, Leslie doesn't believe me, but it truly is only ONE plant) as well as how many super sweet, 'personal' sized cantaloupes are on the two plants which are taking on the one pumpkin in an epic battle for domination of the melon patch.
Some of the first pumpkins are just starting to show a little colour.  This variety doesn't turn the traditional bright orange, but rather gains a bit of orangey shading behind the lovely dark and light green lacing

Guess I should have been paying attention a bit earlier

Camp 18 2014

It was a fun week, with out of town visits from Tim, son Jack and Hoke X Cricket daughter Sweep from Vegas, and Shelly with her two dogs Shae and Sweep's brother Rowyn from the San Diego area driving up for a visit and mini dog family reunion (see for those pictures).  And, Friday was our 32nd anniversary, which we celebrated with a late lunch/early dinner at Camp 18 ( about 3 hours north of the ranch.  Shelly had never been there so it was something of a treat for her.  Of course, it was a treat for Dale too, as he started dreaming about those monster razor clams and cinnamon rolls weeks ahead of time.
 Just a little perspective on exactly how big that centerpole is.  Shelly poses with a new pal