Thursday, July 31, 2014

July.















Hot days and warm evenings.
Hot dogs and cattle that laid in the flood waters to cool.
Harvest that seemed to come on like a whirlwind as everything {turned} at once.
Slow weekend days that lingered.

July - you've been filled with pleasant surprises despite what our bill for the AC may say.

May we see you again next year....

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Splish splashing.

It was the perfect evening for a pool party.
The weather was welcoming as friends visited, kiddos played in the pool and the obligatory annual group pictures were taken.

There was diving...and cannonballs...and chicken fights.

And laughter.

Yes, there was lots of laughter.

Like I said, it was the perfect evening for a pool party.


2014 Estes Pool Party Group Pic

Funny faces :P

Jump!





Cannonball-er extraordinaire.




Chicken fights!


Every great pool party needs a pool boy, right? :)

The fabulous view from my little spot in the shade.

Thank you Estes family for including us again this year - we are grateful!

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PS - I had to post this picture, even though Brandi will probably kill me. ;)


I'd arrived a bit late to the party, and had quietly taken a seat in the shade at Grandma Bev's.  My camera clicked, capturing kids, as I visited with Amy and Anna.  Later on, Brandi came over to say hello and that she hadn't even seen me come in.  I'm not sure who said it, but somewhere the phrase "Creeper with the camera" got let out and we all had a good laugh over it.

So the next time you see a girl sitting in the shade, capturing memories with clicks....it's not a creeper. Just me, lol.  :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's Wallowa.



  

It's how the gears and four wheel drive shift into low, as we climb graveled drives lined with thick rock.

It's the clanging of the trailer door as horses and a wheeler are unloaded, saddled and a final cold beverage grabbed before we get to work.

It's the "whiskt, whiskt, whiskt" of the sprinkler pipes as they sprinkle gravity delivered water across the fields that we pass along on our way through the gate.

It's the way soft prisms of light dance across horses, trailers and tent tops.

 


It's how the light filters through the pines and hits soft green blades of grass.

It's the shifting of the gears as I navigate the four wheeler over branches that pop and snap under the weight of tires, looking for heifers to count heads and check health.

It's the "clip clops" of the horses as the guys head the opposite way from I, both accomplishing the same tasks.





It's the silent moments.

It's the unexpected beauty found in a bubbling stream, in a group of deer who stop to look and linger before darting off, and in a new fence built just right.

It's the silent reassurance found when cattle are located - healthy and well fed.





It's the gratefulness felt as we find that all is healthy, and nothing needs the doctoring items that remain idle in the pickup.

It's the "whizzz" as a rope flies round a lone bull's neck and the time it takes to load him into a trailer in the middle of a field. 

A mad, horse fighting bull did not equal easy loading for us, unfortunately, this weekend.   Good thing Jesse and Clint are handy....and still had a bit of their inner "track star" left in them!   That bull quite literally gave them a run for their money, but their horses and whit served them well and at the end of the day - he was loaded.

It's the heft of the trailer, loaded with that one canktanerous bull, two horses and an assortment of dogs, as we pulled out the drive with a final wave, headed for home.

It's all of these things, and more.

It's Wallowa.

And it will always be a special place for us, and fabulous country to summer cattle in.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Front yard demo.

I wanted to title this post "Crash, Bam, Pop!" but thought better of myself. 

While a little dramatic, there was a lot of noise going on in our yard Saturday morning - and it was all for good! 

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The ranch had rented an excavator for the week, so before it went back Saturday at noon, Jack came over and started to tear out the rock wall and flower beds in our front yard.  The ranch installed a septic system for the sale barn right in front of our flower beds, and we needed to figure out a way to design the yard so that cars wouldn't drive on top of the septic system.  Seperately, I'd been trying to figure out what to do with the rock wall/flower bed combo that's been in the front of our yard that has DRIVEN ME CRAZY because I cannot control the grass that grows through the rocks, and there isn't really enough soil to make a flower bed shine, so weeds were prone to taking over.  So we decided to remove the beds, haul sand in and just extend our front lawn over the new septic.

I am super excited about what the final product will look like, and snapped a few pictures of the demo that happened on Saturday....







Jack went to work tearing it all out - he is so skilled at operating large equipment, and really did a nice job.  We are so thankful for all of his help.  After the rocks and railroad ties had been removed, Jack, Duane and Ty hauled sand in (and later this week, screened manure) so that I can plant grass seed and extend our lawn when the temps regulate a bit.  (It's supposed to be 106* here today....not exactly the best grass growing weather.)  Then the ranch has hired a company to install curbing around our yard and the yard planted over the septic system and then we won't have to worry about cars or trucks driving where they shouldn't!

And I'll be left with just grass to mow, and only flowers in pots/beds to deal with - a win/win situation for all!  I'm so excited - and thankful.

Since we had the excavator there....

Patsy mentioned that Jack might as well just take out the dead locust tree that was in the corner of our yard, and I also wanted to take down the "not so pretty, but still alive" pine tree that was right next to it.  The locust tree removal was planned and a great improvement....the pine tree was a last minute thought and there's still mixed feelings whether or not it was good or bad.  Jack just pushed the locust tree over with the excavator, but since the pine tree was close to our cement driveway the guys were concerned about the roots pulling up the cement.  So Jack held on to the tree while Clint used his chainsaw to cut it down.  Then Clint just sawed the tree in half, and they hauled it out.  There'll be a stump to deal with, but eventually it'll rot out enough where we can push it out without having to worry about the cement. 

"Before" Pic - The pine tree Jack has in the exacavator & the locust to the right of it were removed.



"After" - Just a few bare spots to patch with grass - or gravel over, which is what we'll do where the locust was.

The guys worked hard - Jack, Duane, Clint, Jesse and Ty loaded up all of the dead/pushed over/cut down trees onto a flat bed, and by lunchtime when we left for Joseph, all that remained was scattered limbs and chunks of branches that I'll pick up and clean tonight. 

I'm so thankful for all of the help this weekend.  Running an excavator, or sawing down a tree, or driving the dump trucks it takes to haul in sand or cart off trees isn't something that I'm very good at - so it's really nice to have a group of people around who are experts and enjoy doing that kind of work.

And I'm so thankful for all of them - it's a great crew of people we get to live and work with here at Double M!