Saturday, April 18, 2015

Thistle Hill Ranch in April

Spring is a beautiful time of year here at Thistle Hill Ranch!

A year has almost come and gone for us at Thistle Hill Ranch, and I am struggling to find a favorite time of year.

There are times I feel overwhelmed with ALL the ranch chores, but then one of our darling animals reminds me life is too short to sweat the small stuff?
Thank you Daisy, (the donkey), for keeping me laughing!

Ranch Happenings
A lot of exciting things are happening here. We just joined 4H in our area and can't wait to jump in with both feet. Everyone was so nice and so welcoming. Thanks to our leader Katy Smith, we are ready for all the fun 4H has to offer. We can't wait to see where it takes us in our studies and socially. It's about time the boys get out with more kids. It has taken some time, but we finally feel settled. We love our community and all the wonderful people who have helped us call Texoma home.
We took our Spring Break and Easter Break back to back, so we didn't miss any school.Our homeschool week consists of Friday-Tuesday & Wednesday/Thursday is our weekend. We have been getting up earlier to get school done early in the day, to not overwhelm ourselves with the rest of the ranch duties. It doesn't always go as planned...and for a Type-A personality like me, sometimes it drives me nuts!
The last two weeks, has consisted of preparing our heifers for rebreeding, breeding & checking our mares for pregnancy, and rebreeding, one of them again.
This last week and this week, has consisted of all of the above, and all the regular chores. Keeping up has been difficult at times.

We had the boys friends up this last week too, and they had a blast! Always nice to have friends that are willing to travel the hour+ drive, to hang out for the day. And the Biggs girls, that now live in beautiful Tennessee, stopped in too. What a treat that day was. It was good for me to take a break, & hang out with my friends too :-)

The ducks and the geese finally moved into the "Duck Mahal" 3 nights ago.

{I guess instead of "Duck Mahal", I should name it "Fowl Mahal", we do have geese in there too after all.}

We still have a few things to finish up, so pictures will come soon. But, here's a sneak peek!

Yesterday, I met with our vet in the morning to check Classy for rebreeding, went to Home Depot to score the $3 Knock Out Rose bushes, and splurged a bit on the yellow rose topiaries for the front of "Fowl Mahal", then on the way home picked up groceries for dinner. I managed to plant the rose bushes around the "Fowl Mahal", with the boys before the torrential downpour. Then, a quick shower, and finished 9 loads of laundry. It was sheets day, and add that it's been raining and it's muddy...this equals more laundry. We finished our lessons right before 6pm ,and I managed to still put dinner in the oven.
Then, I poured myself some wine!
Back to the Fun Stuff!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our new daybed swing! Thanks to my awesome husband Glen, for helping me in all my "What if we did..." list!
I can't wait to have more time to read and rest on it!



Hopefully the weather cooperates, and we will get "Fowl Mahal" completely finished and get pictures up of the whole pond area. It really is looking neat.

Summer here we come!

Always a lot happening here. Thanks for stopping by Thistle Hill Ranch...

Have A Great Weekend!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring is in Full Swing at Thistle Hill Ranch

This Spring is our first at Thistle Hill Ranch, and we couldn't be more excited!

The weather is perfect, the sun has been shining, and our hearts are full! We had our first foal at the ranch 2 weeks ago. We are over the moon!

It's A Boy!

Meet Baby Koa!

I feel very honored that my grandfather Mendel Borthwick Jr. named him. The name Koa in Hawaiian means: Brave, Bold, and Fearless. As you can see he's living up to his name. So blessed to have a Hawaiian heritage, and even more blessed to have a 90 year old Grandfather that's just as excited about our new colt as we are.

He is a tad spicy, but very sweet. Momma Sandy has let us all hug and love on him. She's the sweetest mommy.

The picture is blurry, but it was so sweet, I had to share.

Our little guy struggled a bit after birth, but we have the greatest vet in the world and Dr. Chelsea caught it right away. Luckily there is a treatment they do with Plasma, antibiotics, and steroids, that perks them right up.

Spring at Thistle Hill is breeding season.

We bred the heifers, and the horses too. During all of this, we had my Dad and Step-Mom Joyce visiting from Honolulu. We had so much fun showing them everything we could in a week, what life is like for us now at Thistle Hill Ranch.

Horseback Riding at Kyle Ranch with our trainer Joe Curtis.
Daisy loved my parents being here as much as we did!
They wanted to be a part of all aspects of Thistle Hill Ranch life. They helped us wrangle the heifers for their pregnancy check. 3 pregnant, 2 more to go. Thank you Dr. Shelton!
We have the greatest vets! They have an abundance of patience, and are always willing to teach. We are so grateful to have Dr. Chelsea and Dr. Shelton.
And of course we had to set aside an afternoon of family Trap Shooting!
This is our Bailey at sunrise ready for the vet...
And today we found out she's PREGNANT!!! Thanks Dr. Chelsea!

I guess Thistle Hill Ranch is full of babies this Spring!

2 nests, & 2 beautiful surprises under our nesting box doors.


So happy to share our Thistle Hill Ranch Blessings. Family and Babies in Spring always make life sweet!

Happy Monday and Have a Blessed Week!

*Check back soon! I have pond updates to share. Ducklings and Goslings getting their BIG, as I lovingly call it, Duck Mahal, and I can't wait to share my new daybed swing by the pond.


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!