Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Moving cows

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Moving cows back to the York Place for the fourth time in as many days. The girls did not want to stay there so we ended up marching them home before they broke the fences again.

Clean up crew

Several times a day the little flock of sheep wander in to the front yard to eat the windfall apricots. Once the last fruit has been Hoovered up, they amble off spitting pits as they go.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Goodness gracious so many chickens

Back from the processor with 100 more broilers in the freezer. We freeze them down in the stand freezers because we can get good air circulation around the birds. Then we move them to bulk storage in one of the chest freezers. So far we are delighted with our new processors. One more batch of birds and we are done for the season!

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summertime soiree

One of the biggest highlights of the year for us is when our friends gather at the ranch. The stars aligned this year and we were able to bring together most everyone (next time Amy!). Coming from three different countries and both coasts, I'm still a little amazed that it worked out.

Yes it was hot and dusty and there were bugs (Nathan even had to leave for a little bit to fight fire) but it was still incredible. We feasted on an unbelievable spread of fancy meats, cheeses, fruits, drinks and sweets. We ate outside under tents on the lawn adorned with twinkly lights. We watched the stars in a truly dark sky. We played fun board games. The toddlers were adorable and charming. The company was lively and entertaining and no matter the distance, these relationships always pick right back up where we left off. Everything was delightful. Both Nathan and I were forced to let go and just relax, to go on vacation as well. To take the time to focus on being fully present felt decadent and indulgent. I loved every minute of it and feel so refreshed and recharged.

I can't wait for next time. And the time after that, and after that, on and on for decades to come.

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The epic picnic feast

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Picking apricots as a group

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After a while the preferred retrieval method involved shaking the tree and collecting the drops on a blanket

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Turning the fruit into farm wine (also known as "swirl" around here). We ended up making about 25 gallons with all the fruit.

Our lovely friends





Thursday, July 31, 2014

Swirling whirling thunderstorm

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We had a thunderstorm move through the other day. The clouds were incredibly cool on the bottom of the cell which swirled around us for several hours. It spit rain on us for five minutes or so and blew a few big gusts, several lightning flashes and a few thunderclaps before moving on. It really didn't seem like much of a storm given the mayhem we later discovered.

It blew the combine seat cushion off the combine and down the bowl of the hill into the pigpen. No biggie. It scattered all the tidy raked hay ready for baling into a perfectly even layer across the whole field. Annoying since Nathan had to re-rake the entire field. The real doozy was that it pushed the east wheel line into the west line, then pretzeled them together over the top of each other then sheared off the west line in two places and broke the chain that drives the motor. Most curiously though the line that got twisted off was the charged line and was full of hundreds of gallons of water, it is very heavy. That empty line sliced right through it though. I wasn't fast enough to get up on the hill to take photos before they had started dis-entwining the lines so I have no photos of that.

It is always something with a summer thunderstorm. Nathan and Lloyd spent the rest of the day cobbling the two lines together into one so we can get water up and running again on the alfalfa for our third cutting.