Archive for September, 2015

Ranch “date”

Ranch date – working together

  • water gap repair – soil erosion slowed
  • cool breeze
  • cerulean blue sky fading from east to west to slate blue and then charcoal
  • towering castles in the sky with white tops and gray heavy bottoms
  • violet mountains and coral clouds
  • red ochre baked soil fading to a soft terra cotta
  • pearlescent clouds washed to a silvery gray
  • basso rumble of bulls and tenor bawl of calves, cows answering
  • coyotes “singing”
  • flame sky in east and twilight in west
  • job well done
  • nighthawks talking
  • velvet lips, affectionate pats
  • comfortable silence
    • peace, purpose, holy space
    • dusty clothes, dirty hands
    • content hearts
  • sunset reflectionwater gap2water gapsoniawashflame sky

Arizona History With Grandpa – Field Trips Homeschool Style

20150902_111519[1]

Spent the day with Grandpa Cook on a history field trip. Drove over the mountain in our Polaris ranger  to the “West Stronghold”. We were on the west side of the mountain, ranch is on the east to the ridgeline and the east stronghold is one of our pastures.  (Google Cochise Stronghold for a good overview).

Hiked to council rocks, discussed Apache chieftan Cochise and his life, and viewed pictographs. Grandpa is still the best hiker in the bunch at 72 and with bad feet – though Daniel is fast catching up!

Granny provided a  “small” picnic – two type of sandwiches, hotdogs over a campfire, pickles, boiled eggs, cookies, twinkies, ice tea, and soda.  When we were kids, granny’s picnics were a regular occurrence and yummy!!

Left to head home and found ourselves in a downpour. Turned around and headed the “horse” for the “barn” in Tombstone – otherwise known as Granny and Poppa’s house. Spent the afternoon watching TV, making chocolate chip cookies and drying out. Drove home in the cool of the evening.

Blessed by being close to grandparents, Dad’s prodigious knowledge of history, no lightning just rain, and Granny’s cookies.

Don’t miss everyday blessings waiting on “biggies”20150902_110839[1]20150902_104955[1]20150902_121144[1]

20150902_111416[1]20150902_131214[1] 20150902_103544[1]

 

Fire on the Mountain

fire20150901_115558[1]

Excitement for our week – a “natural ignition” fire on a neighbors ranch and in one of our pastures. I was in town and a friend alerted me to smoke. I sent Emily and Daniel out to see where it was. Once they called me back and said it was close to the ranch but not too bad, I told them stick around since our neighbor  Miss Kay wasn’t home just in case they needed to put a sprinkler on her roof.

Conflicting thoughts ran through my head.

First and foremost, safety for our neighbors.  The windmill to the far left is ours, windmill in the background one of our neighbors. Three families live off the grid in our pasture.  ( Tip – if you live rural, particularly off grid make sure you have water storage and good water pressure! Also check with the local fire departments to see what kind of valve their hoses hook up to and consider installing one on your storage tank)

One of the cabins and a poly plastic storage tank did burn. Emily and Daniel did hang around and end up soaking her wood pile, rescuing kittens and a milk goat, another neighbors dog, and generally helping other neighbors evacuate.

So proud of them doing exactly what was needed and being the kind of neighbors we should be in rural areas.  We are sure sorry for Kay’s lost guest house. Returned the animals this morning.

Secondly I’m frustrated that once the houses were saved and the fire affecting them contained, all of the fire was put out. We really could have used a burn on the forest service hills and mountains behind the houses. The longer they don’t have some smaller, controlled burns the more catastrophic a fire will be, much like what is happening in Oregon.

Fire – scary, exciting, destructive, renewing and ultimately not in our control. Thankful for the Lord’s provision even when we don’t always understand it or see it.