Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Roping Day

We took Sophia down to our arena to watch the cowboys practice roping for an upcoming rodeo.

She loves the horses and all of the action going on.

She played with with cowboy's niece, or tried to anyway, she is still learning how to play with kids her own age...(her sisters are much older.)

She tried to play with the other kids too, but I don't think they liked another 
2 year old...NOSE PICKER to join them.  Ugggg, that's not my kid!

 We watched them practice...

and practice some more....

Then, her moment of glory came, she got to go for a ride on the cowboy's horse!

What fun she had, she wasn't scared of the horse or the cowboys.

Before we know it, she will be riding on her own horse.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Swather and Hay Baler

This is the day Vic's dream machine came home.

Maybe not a "dream machine", but it'll do, for now...maybe. 

He's been wanting to plant alfalfa, to feed our animals, for years but everyone told him it's not a good idea do to the cost of the equipment, seed pricing, land requirements and water needs.

Vic said, "I have the land, I'll buy the seed, I'll get the water where I need it, and I'll find the equipment." 

Never tell that guy he can't do something or have something, or he'll prove you wrong. 

He prepared the fields, got the water in place and planted the seed. Then he began searching for equipment.

Vic was outside of town working on a garage door for a friend when he drove by a rancher who was mending fence posts near where Vic had just finished up. He drove up and got out of his truck to see if the rancher needed some help. The old rancher looked up at him with a deeply wrinkled face and with a nod like shooing a fly away, he said, "what do you need boy?" Vic smiled and said, "you looked like you could use a hand." The rancher said, "no son, I appreciate the offer, but I've been taking care of my ranch for 53 years and I don't think I need help today or any day." As he turned his back to Vic, his hand slipped off of the wire stretcher and his hand slid over the barbed wire slicing his palm wide open.  Vic grabbed the stretcher and finished tying the wire down while the rugged rancher grumbled in anger and pain and wrapped his hand with a handkerchief  to stop the bleeding.

Vic talked to him while finishing up the section of fence that was down and the rancher seemed to enjoy watching Vic work. He told a few wild tales of the good-ol-days during his long ranch career.  He ended the story-telling with the hard reality that he was losing his ranch and was selling everything. He told Vic how the economy hit him hard, first he had to let his employees go, then with the rise in costs he was farming at a loss.  He explained that he had hung on for four years and he's just getting too old to do everything himself.  He planned on moving with his wife to a small house near the city his daughter lived in so she could take care of them when the time came.

 He asked Vic if he knew anyone that needed a swather, hay baler and many other miscellaneous pieces of farm equipment. Vic smiled and told him for the right price he might be interested.  Vic was thinking in his head that the equipment would be 6 or 7 years old but when the rancher took him to see the swather and baler it was old! 

Old as the hills...but it worked.  

He would need to do some minor engine work, replace some hydraulic hoses and do some carburetor work on it but other than that, it would do the job. They agreed on a next-to-nothing price and a few weeks later, the equipment found a new home.

This is how it went....

Loading the took 4 Trucks, 4 flat-bed trailers, 1 Dynalift, 2 cowboys, 1 fork-lift guy named Johnny, 1 safety inspector (aka Vic's dad) and Vic to do the job. Then drive another hour and a half to get back to the ranch.

Loading the swather.

They had to fork lift the hay baler onto the trailer.

Guiding the equipment took precision cowboy work.

The baler didn't quit fit but it worked out.

Ready to go.

One last check by the safety inspector....Papa.

Here she is, the John Deer swather, in all her glory. This is the piece of machinery that pushes the cutting head through the alfalfa and cuts it.

Vic is holding back "the boys" who want to sit up in the drivers seat Sophia and Papa.

King jumped up on the new Firestone tire that cost 3 times the amount of all of the equipment put together, he discovered there's no place like the ground.

Papa explained to Sophi the importance of the John Deere steering wheel emblem. 

This is the fancy steel wire baler, not what the newer balers use which is a type of nylon string.  

Needs a little cleaning up.

McCormick has been around for years. I'm learning well about all of this stuff!
Not that I will ever need to know it.

This is the part of the baler that lifts up the alfalfa off of the ground.

The short legged bobbsey-twins are worn out ,they take cover under the equipment that looks like it could eat them up.

Sophi got another lesson on how the old baler works.

My two lovelies are home...wonder what are they up to?

I got a smile from each! Mom's happy. 

Nice glasses! Are we in the 80's again?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wedding at Sanctuary

In the land outside of the ranch a glorious thing happened,
a wedding, where two perfectly matched people joined families and started their new lives together.

Vic's cousin married her true love.

This is how it went....only a glimpse.

My three beautys...I know, I'm partial, but they are so darn cute!

Vic and I

He made me put this photo in, under protest!

Auntie to me, mother-of-the-bride, world's best grandma especially to this angel baby. 

Uncle to me, father-of-the-bride, and world's best grandpa.

The beautiful wedding couple.

On the golf coarse in Scottsdale, Arizona...breathtaking.

Grandmas and Grandpa keeping the kiddos in their seats.

Father-of-the-bride trying to hold the tears back.

Champagne toast for the groom and bride, celebrating their new reunion, or to ward off the jitters before the vows.


The groom's son inconspicuously crawls over to his daddy.

"No one's looking, are they?"

"Who is that crazy girl taking pictures of me, I'm trying not to get noticed!"

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs.

New beginnings...


Just a peek of the wedding party's table.

New brothers, the joys of life, getting to grow up together and share what life has to offer.

My undeniably cute nephew who stopped for a millisecond to let me capture his adorable face.

World's next...Top Models, my twin nieces.

My brother and his gorgeous family.

My niece and my girls, two of them anyways.

One of The Real Housewives of Peoria, Season 1, Bravo TV.

My gorgeous sister-in-law.

The Real Housewife's husband...


We are all Making Moves

My brother-in-law.

My niece who will one day be a superstar volleyball player in college.

Vic's uncle (aka brother) and gorgeous family!

Vic's mom and dad.

The retired...Real Housewife of Peoria, Arizona.

The end of a beautiful day.

Now get me back to the ranch!

So I can finish this bottle under a tree with Vic!

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