Sunday, June 30 - Unwelcome Visitor - This morning during our family worship service, Rusty started barking and wouldn't stop. We went out to investigate. Under the carport, under a riding lawnmower, was a badger. We couldn't decide whether to shoot it or try to run it off. Finally Nathan decided to try and run it off. This was easier said than done. If you know anything about badgers, you know they aren't afraid of anything and will stand their ground.
First it ran under Nathan's mom's car.
Then Laredo's pickup. Nathan was trying to push him away, but he felt threatened and wouldn't quit attacking the hoe.
Both were determined not to be bested.
He finally ran off. Hopefully he won't come back and eat a goose or something.
Pretty pics from the stock pens.
Wednesday, June 26 - Opposite Coasts - Today Atlanta and Jordan were traveling to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Simultaneously, the boys were driving down the California coast. It was a strange feeling having all my treasures so spread out.
These pictures were sent from Atlanta's phone from somewhere in Virginia.
Jordan sent me these photos of the two of them settled in their camp at Gettysburg.
This was the scene along the California highway, sent from Cim's phone.
Earlier in the trip, he sent this desert picture from just inside California.
Sunday, June 23 - Evening Ride - Samantha, Aspen, Stockton and Nathan took advantage of the cool evening to saddle up the horses.
Carolina waited for her turn. She was loaning Samantha her horse.
Isn't this cute? Rusty's tongue and Carolina's shirt are matching colors.
Water Gapping - Well, Nathan was water gapping, the rest of us were actually playing. Recent rains had washed out both the fence on the north and south boundaries of the river running through the ranch. The kids were having fun in the creek and I was having fun taking pictures and finding rocks. We came early before it got too hot.
When you happen to be an eleven year old boy who loves fish, frogs, turtles and lizards, this is just about the best place on earth to be.
Looks like Rusty is getting schooled on. He has to sit and stay in the river.
These silly girls decided to have a clay facial.
After all the wonderful rain we've had, the ranch is greener than its been in years.
Here's the rear view in my side mirror.
Saturday, June 22 - Load of Hay - Nathan picked up 100 small bales of alfalfa and 8 round bales of grass hay today.
He unloaded the small bales with Carolina's help.
She even drove the bobcat.
As the evening wore on, the sky became more and more colorful.
Then a large, bright full moon came up.
A nice night for a walk.
Stockton found a little moon.
Friday, June 21 - Breathtaking Sunrise
Thursday, June 20 - Mountain Boomers - Nathan and Chance stopped by around lunch to bring Stockton a surprise. They had managed to catch two large and colorful lizards called mountain boomers. Stockton was ecstatic.
Is it just me, or does the creature on his shirt and the creature in his hand bear a striking resemblance one to the other??
Stockton named him Bruiser. Here he is sitting on Stockton's shoulder watching him play a video game.
A line of storms moved across the panhandle. They had lost all their rain chances by the time they made it to us, but were holding together well enough to form this incredible layered cloud formation.
See the panoramic view of this amazing cloud formation here. It's even more impressive.
Wednesday, June 19
An unusual morning thunderstorm (that eventually dropped up to 7 inches of rain near Tell, about 15 miles away) brewing in the northwest.
Tornado warnings went out for the county next door for a time. There were some strange things about this cloud besides its early morning arrival. Parts of the cloud were very low-hanging and swirling into strange shapes.
After work Nathan decided to well...mow the pasture with a hand mower. I can't explain it, but it sure looks nice.
My Texas sage bush is in full bloom since the rain.
He also burned some fallen limbs. Carolina took these interesting pictures of the fire.
Turkey got a nice rain this morning, but we only got 4/10ths out of the storm. The clouds stayed around all day. Here's how they looked at sunset.
Monday, June 17 - More Rain! We got almost 2 inches of rain from the nighttime storms.
Fast Trip to Lubbock - We zipped up to Lubbock today to get the pickup serviced and run some errands for the Well Service business. I snapped this shot out the window on the way home. This is somewhere west of Matador.
Sunday, June 16 - Friends, Old and New, at the Ranch - We had a couple of families over for some fun today. I think everyone enjoyed getting acquainted and/or catching up on the latest news. Storms brewed up and the Loomis family got caught in it near Clarendon as they traveled home to Amarillo. They reported that the hail and rain was so intense, visibility was very limited and their car began to hydroplane. About the time they made it home safely, it hit here. The Machas stayed late and let the storm pass before traveling home.
Samantha Rainey, Johanna and Sarah Macha, Aspen and Lezlie Loomis watch little Nathan and Caleb playing in the stock tank while Josephine Macha helps Irelynn into the big pool.
Irelynn and Carolina cool off.
Annual Cousin Visit - It's become a summer tradition. Nancy and George Rainey (Windy's cousin) bring their daughter, Samantha, to spend time with Aspen on the ranch every summer. They came on Saturday and spent the night. They had to get on back soon after church and couldn't stay for the get together we were having.
However, Cousin Samantha will get to stay for two weeks.
Laredo's 19th Birthday - With all the company and planning the boy's big out of town trip, we didn't get to celebrate Laredo's birthday....not yet anyway.
Way to go, Laredo! You've come a long way! Here's Laredo with Nathan in 1995, when he was about a year old.
Happy Birthday to Granny, too! They share the same birthday, June 16th.
Friday, June 14th - Carolina and Michelle finally wore themselves out - They've had such a fun week. Michelle's parents are coming tomorrow to pick her up.
An afternoon nap has become standard operating procedure for these girls after staying up late most nights.
Wednesday, June 12 - Fun Week with Michelle - Carolina is having a blast with her friend Michelle from Decatur.
Even Rusty seems happy with the arrangement.
Stockton's also been getting in on the fun. Check out this little piece of a video they put together with cardboard instruments.
Men at Work - Today Stockton went to work with Nathan. He was so excited. I think he was more excited about getting to eat the "good snacks" than anything. (I buy a few fun snacks to put in the guy's lunches. They're off limits to those of us who stay home. It's things like cheese-its crackers, cliff bars and trail mix.)
Stockton took a couple of pictures of Nathan working on windmill towers today.
Stockton also had fun looking around in this dirt overflow tank near one of their windmill jobs today.
He found some turtles.
Pictures Around the Ranch
Tonight, there was another beautiful sky. Click here to see a couple of panoramic views.
Story of a Seamstress - Atlanta posts cute new blog entry, don't miss it! Click here.
Monday, June 10 - Milking Belle - Carolina and Michelle help with the morning's chores.
You've heard of a bird's eye view. Well, I'm calling this a doodle-bug's eye view. There's plenty of them around just now.
Sunday, June 9 - Volunteer Work - Today the boys left to go to Oklahoma and help out with some of the tornado disaster relief work going on there. Our good friends, the Roberts, are also going with a group from their church. Their daughter, Michelle, will be staying with us for a week while they're gone.
This picture of Moore, OK is a screen capture from a website that shows the path of the tornado. This picture just represents a tiny part of the destruction. You can zoom in and see the outlines of the houses that used to be there. It's really amazing and awful at the same time. If you'd like to visit the website, click on this link: http://apps.npr.org/moore-oklahoma-tornado-damage/
The volunteers help out at various locations. Here's a collection of pictures from the first few days of work. Some of these pictures were snagged off of Eve's facebook page, others were sent to me by the boys from their phones.
Boys and J.R.
Eve on the left with friends, Shayna and Carrie.
The workers are being housed and fed at the Alameda Church of Christ in Norman. The group that is coordinating the volunteers is called the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team. I know they would appreciate any donations at http://www.churchesofchristdrt.org/
Saturday, June 8 - Eve and J.R. Share Our Breakfast - They came last night to drop off Michelle. We've been having fun catching up.
Birthday Party for Emma Maynard - Saturday afternoon we went into Matador to attend the third birthday party of the cutest little girl ever. Her daddy, Chance, works with Nathan and the boys. She got lots of stuff and everyone had a great time. Nathan made her a sprinkler to play with in the yard. After we left, her mom messaged us that she had put it under the trampoline and the kids had played for hours.
Aspen would like to steal their new baby, Hudson, 4 months old.
This little boy was named Trip and was Soooooo cute.
Carolina and Michelle enjoying cupcakes.
The birthday girl.
News from Tennessee - I thought you might like to see some of the pictures Atlanta has been sharing with me.
She knew I'd love this shot of a thunderstorm in the west.
Her squash bed.
They went swimming in nearby Cane Creek. (jealousy alert)
Jordan has been working in the attic, putting in window frames.
Atlanta shooting one of Jordan's black powder guns.
The next few pictures are of a couple that they've met there. She's really having fun getting to know Janet.
They have a summer kitchen that is so cute and practical.
Her husband sitting with the youngest of three daughters.
Their herb garden.
The oldest girl is almost 4.
Isn't their place so cute?
Pictures from Around the Ranch - In no particular order and for no particular reason.
Would you trust an eleven year old boy with a hose in the house?? For the record, I wasn't in the house at the time. Stockton figured that this would be the quickest way to refill his fish tank after a cleaning.
Speaking of cleaning a fish tank, anyone who's ever had fish knows how much trouble it is to keep it clean. Even with filter pumps and air tubes. Well, we think we've discovered something fantastic. It has to do with common, everyday ivy. The kind that just about everyone has growing in their house. We went to Lubbock a week or so ago and went by Misty's office. She saw Stockton's interest in her ivy plant and offered to break some off and send home with him. When he got home, he put the several ivy springs in a vase of water. After more than a week, I asked him if he's been changing the water in the vase, because it was crystal clear. He said that he'd actually forgotten about it because he'd put it on a bottom shelf. We started to wonder if the ivy roots were actually sucking up the organic matter that usually accumulates in a vase of flowers or other plants. We thought, what the heck, lets put the ivy in the fish tank and see what happens. We've been pleasantly surprised to find that the water is staying very clear, the plants are growing, and the fish are enjoying their underwater paradise. Maybe you should give it a try! We'll keep you updated as our experiment progresses.
Stockton and Carolina stuck the ivy roots under the rocks to hold them down, but they're not really planted.
Just one cloud in the sky. But it's a beauty.
Carolina is about to take her first swim in her new suit. Isn't the color gorgeous against the blue sky? Why can't we all have legs this long?
Check out this lizard Stockton caught in the back yard.
A summer tradition - more swallow babies are growing and maturing in various nests under our porch. We love watching them through the front windows.
This nest has been taken over by sparrows. They don't mind using the pre-fabbed nests, but are determined to soften them up a bit with feathers and grass.
Okay, this is getting a little too carried away. The sparrow parents preparing this nest got so many feathers they couldn't all stay in. They do enjoy picking up some of Aspen's Sebastopol geese feathers. They are the curly white ones. Like the one hanging on the end of this mess.
One night, Carolina helped make a blackberry cobbler for the Robert's upcoming visit.
Saturday, June 1 - New Home School Friends - We traveled to Tulia to get together with some old friends and to meet new families from the area.
Beth and Cari enjoy visiting as the sun sets.
The kids teach their new friends some of their favorite dances.
Mr. Hernandez grinds coffee beans the old fashioned way.
Lezlie, Linda and Debbie on the patio visiting.
Little Nate had had an accident the day before and his eye got progressively blacker as the evening wore on. It didn't slow him down any, though.
This colorful sunset has a companion panoramic picture that shows the whole skyscape. Click here to see it.
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