Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Has Sprung!

Happy 1st Day of SPRING!


Even though it has been rainy and cloudy here at Thistle Hill Ranch, everything is turning green, wildflowers are popping up, the creek is filling up, and the birds are nesting. It puts me in the mood to plant, clean, and refresh inside and out!


We have been doing project after project here, getting a lot accomplished. Soon there will be pictures of the pond and fire pit area. We have been working hard to spruce it up and get it ready for Spring and Summer nights by the pond.

We bought 8 ducks for our pond and geese are soon to come. They are just too cute for words!

We have a duck and goose house coming too! Lots and lots happening, so check back soon.

Have a Great Weekend & Happy Spring!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Learning to Live!

If I say the word "OVERWHELMED", I think some of you reading this will feel me!

I think Mr Darby feels it too!

These last couple weeks have flown by and have been overwhelming. It has been filled with homeschooling, ranching, cleaning, and on, and on!

They have a writing research assignment I gave them, that they are less than enthusiastic about...can you say "kill me now"?

When they resist or fuss about my writing assignments, it drives me bananas. I wish they would just research and write! But then again, I have to remind myself not everyone sees writing as an easy thing. I loved essay and writing assignments because they came easily to me. When I say write a paragraph a day, you'd think I was asking them to climb Mt. Everest...really?

Thank God for our Math tutor giving me a break once a week!

Ranching, Ranching, Ranching!


We have been on baby watch since February 28th...she's still pregnant!


The gal we bought her from can't seem to remember when she artificially inseminated her...and so it goes.

So by our estimation, the earliest due date would be the 28th of February, and the latest being the 10th of March. Our vet said they can go over by as much as 10, we finally see signs we may be a couple days away from her foaling. The wait is killing me! I'm so excited and yet, at the same time, I'm SO OVER watching her teats for signs of waxing. Waxing, (which is colostrum leaking), usually means foaling will commence within 24-48 hours.

Then, we also artificially inseminated our last 3 heifers again. We will check them in another couple weeks to see if it took, and if the other 2 are still pregnant. This process as I've reiterated before, is a 4 step process from beginning to end. A tad tedious, but the benefits are great...babies this Fall!

Daisy always worried about her girls. Just so sweet!


We have been trimming trees and cut down dead ones. Regrading the road and planning for more road got very muddy around here.

The boys and I have been anxiously waiting for the Spring fish crop to come in for restocking our pond. We bought fish from a local pond and fish shop to stock our pond with blue gill, catfish, and minnows. As you can see, it was raining like crazy. But rain or shine, we were going!

We can't wait to fish in the Fall, when they are grown.


We also went to the architect...I think I mentioned that in a previous post. Anyway, still waiting to hear back for the plans and any additional adjustments will be made over two more meetings. I'm going crazy waiting to hear something. We were supposed to hear back last week.

Have I mentioned I'm not good at patience?

Add to all of the previous: Researching for next years curriculum, and electives, additions to our ranch soon to be here (chickens, ducks and geese), preparing our other 2 mares for breeding, and regular ranch maintenance and organizing...oh and regular chores of cleaning and cooking...I need a break!

One of the studs we are considering breeding one of our mares to.


I see some of these moms, with more than 2 kids, tons of outside activities, and I really wonder how they do it? I barely have time for laundry and teaching. Teaching comes first, then house chores, which thank god the boys help with, and then all the ranch planning and upkeep. I'm still loving it all and not sick of it...But, because of my "want it done yesterday" personality, I have trouble giving myself a break.

So this last week we did Math, Science, and Writing, and then winged it the rest of the day. Preston also took the SAT yesterday at Austin College in Sherman.

Just for the practice and experience...don't panic...I'm not expecting my 8th grader to go to college just yet. I'm just glad Duke University supports giving gifted kids opportunities and ideas of how to keep them challenged.

The challenge this week, is for me to simmer down.

I have my Dad and step mom visiting soon from the Hawaiian islands. I have stuff I wanted to finish on my list before they came. I guess this may not happen. The idea of moving out here to the country, was to get all of us to stop and smell the roses...relax...enjoy life. Everyone else is there except me!

My theory is that most moms never get there. I think as Moms we are always working on "To-Do" lists. House To-Do's, Kid To-do's, Help Hubby get his To-Do's done etc., etc. etc.

I need to learn how to relax. My problem is I don't relax, I collapse.

Yesterday, I woke up on the sofa, with 2 dogs laying on me, and one side of my face numb from laying on it for so long. The plan was to sit and watch a show for 30 minutes. I guess after a VERY long week...I collapsed. Then, got back to laundry, cleaning, and cooking dinner.

But, in the end I took a stroll to the pond to take in the sunset last night. For a few minutes I relaxed.

So I guess the lesson is, if you collapse or relax for a few minutes watching a sunset, try to remember nobody's grave ever reads, "Here lies ...., and her closet was always organized and house always clean!"

We need to learn how to LIVE!

The happy light in this last, crazy, week, was a visit to see family and from family.

We visited my sister and my sweet niece and nephew "in town" while they were on their Spring Break. It was a blast!

A day of target shooting, picnicking, and antique shopping. It seriously was one of the best couple of days we've had in a long time.

Family always makes life sweeter!

I Hope You All Have a Great Week. Remember to Take Time to Relax & Learn to Live!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Texas Snow 2015

atmospheric water vapor frozen into ice crystals and falling in light white flakes or lying on the ground as a white layer
- definition

Oh How I Adore Snow!

It could be the memories of living in Colorado and Montana, my sister & friends, and my futile attempts at building igloos, snow tunnels, and even the perfect snowman. We always had fun trying, and it didn't matter if we could feel our toes, or fingers anymore, we always kept going.

There was always the promise of a warm fire, hot cocoa, or clean warm socks...funny what you remember!

Now I'm a Mom, and somehow that kid in me still enjoys all the above on a winter day.

Getting snow in Texas is a luxury. Ice is more like it. But this last week, we got both. The metroplex and beyond was is in various states of a stand still for almost a week.

Last week, we finally received beautiful powdery snow!

Here are a few pictures of our first snow at Thistle Hill Ranch!


Road to the back 40!
Mr. Darby
The boys gathering more firewood...
Poor Frozen Daisy


Thank you for letting me share my snowy's to a gradual warm up...because I fear Texas 100* summers!

Have a Fabulous Week!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thistle Hill Ranch Going-On's Before the Big Snow!



Ummm, not that Sandy!

Sandy our mare...Although, I do sing Grease songs to her.

She's due anytime now. As you can see from her shadow, she's HUGE!

We had the ferrier come out to do all of the mares feet, including her. This was her first time, since we've owned her, that she had her feet done without a shot to relax her. She was a total FREAK! She would get, what I call crazy eyes, and kick. She almost kicked our horse vets arm out of her socket...sigh!

So we started giving her a combo tranquilizer that relaxed her enough to do her feet, but not too much, so she was cognizant of the whole experience. This way the ferrier could earn her trust and help her realize, we are just trying to help her.

Danny, our ferrier, is so fantastic that she finally feels safe and trusts him. It went SO well! She sat very still and lifted each foot without even a flinch. Sweet Momma!

A Mommy-to-be Spa Day!

We also had our heifers checked for pregnancy. Two of the 5 are pregnant! Round two is sometime in the next couple weeks, weather permitting, to try for the other 3 girls.

The vet gives them a sonogram. My boys got to see the little calves heart beats!

Then, we had to get the stalls cleaned out, and reworked for drainage. With Sandy due anytime, we needed to have the stalls VERY clean!

Can you say back breaking work? I am still hurting, and it's been almost a could be I'm just getting old...either way...UGH!

This is after we got down a layer of road base raked in and then fresh sand.

Glen used the tractor for some, and the rest was raking, shoveling, shoveling, and raking! WOW! But after all of that the water finally goes where it is supposed to, and out of the stalls.

We put back all the dividers, put down fresh shavings, and there were 3 very happy mares!


Here is a little tid bit from the house...
I found this great letter plaque at Hobby Lobby 60% off and had to have it. It reminded me of my typewriter letters. So above the desk it is!

So just about the time I get this house the way I want it, we will be building and moving into the new house....oh well! That's the fun of decorating, there's always something that needs to be decorated!

Have a Great Day & Happy Decorating!