Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ian and Lauren

Our awesome friends Ian and Lauren spent all of last week with us. Ian had been working so many long hours at his job that he had capped his PTO and his boss threatened to not let him come to work anymore unless his took some time off. So where do you go for a week long vacation when you are saving up for a wedding this summer? To the ranch of course, much to our delight!

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We adore these two. I know I gush about them every time they come to visit, but we really enjoy their company and only see them once or twice a year. They are pretty much the perfect guests. The show up with a trunk full of groceries, a big box of beers and a bunch of board games for the evenings. They don't show up with a big agenda of things they want to do but honestly want to be immersed in the ranch life, even if that means early mornings and late nights with plenty of less-than-glamorous chores. They bring no pets or friends so we get to focus on spending quality time together. They make their beds, tidy the bathroom and double check that they have all their belongings before departure. They are really open about dietary restrictions which makes meal prep so much less stressful on me. To top it off, Lauren had the wonderful idea to bring recipes and ingredients to share with us some of their favorite meals they prepare with our grass-fed ranch beef, which were delicious by the way (recipes to follow). It felt like I was the one on vacation!

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We spent the week working on all sorts of spring chores that have been delayed due to weather or other circumstances. We picked up new weaner pigs; Nathan jokingly calls them Captain Tugboat and Mrs Prettyface (the pigs, not Ian and Lauren of course). We worked on building a new hoophouse for the chickens. We filled the seed drill so Lloyd could finally get the grain in the ground. Lauren and I made raspberry jelly to clear out space for in the freezer for the raspberry onslaught in July. We did a wildflower hike (and weed monitoring) down Barn Canyon. We worked the yearling heifers and Ian got worked over by the old cattle squeeze. Unfortunately, they missed branding on Saturday due to a family emergency but stopped back by on their way home to California on Sunday.

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Fruits of our labor: ranch raspberry jelly

Each time they come to visit they hone their ranch skills. Ian even dished out an ingenious play from the mechanic's jury-rigged handbook when the truck needed a battery and the one we brought was too big to fit. No problem! Why not put the battery on the hood and use those jumper cables to connect the terminals. A perfect solution for a quick jaunt up the hill. +2 Ian! If game design doesn't work out for you in California, you've earned a spot here at the ranch with your creative problem-solving skills.

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The next time we will see these two will be when we make the trek this summer to their much anticipated wedding then they will be back this winter for more ranch adventures. I can't wait!

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