Hiatus

To all my supportive blog followers, I just want to report that I have not abandoned ship on the Savvy Ranch Living Blog. I am BACK after a way too long HIATUS… 2014 brought lots of changes: good, bad and ugly changes to my little family and our extended family. However, TWENTY FIFTEEN is looking up and I want to hit this year out of the park with blog posts. I do have to say I have truly missed my blog and came to discover, I have so many loyal followers (I almost thought only my mama and the Mr. Savvy Ranch read my posts) but so many of you have kicked my butt in gear to start back up again.

Even though this last year was extremely busy and trying, we did have some great moments and I was able to wrangle my camera out of the dusty storage closet and capture these moments. These next few blog posts will recap the good times from 2014.

Thank you again for all the patience and sticking it out with me, keep in touch for some new Savvy Ranch Chic!

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A Sparkling 4th of July

Let Freedom Ring type

Wowzers…This year we celebrated the 4th of July week with a BANG! I think my little family is still recovering from all the excitement at the rodeo, parades and BBQ’s!  We kicked off our fun-filled 4th of July week with a visit to the St. Paul Rodeo, an all-American classic tradition for my family. We have had the same box seats at St. Paul Rodeo, since before I was walking. This year was the 79th Annual Rodeo and my little guy’s third visit to this rodeo. He slept through his first show at 1.5 months old, loved the HUGE firework show as one-year old and this year was fascinated with the COWS and cowboys. In fact, during the steer wrestling…Cason informed me “Oh-no Mama, the guy fell down onto the cow…uh-oh!” Too cute…he had all of us cracking up with his sheer exhilaration for the show. But I have never seen my little cowboy sit so still as he did for the fireworks frenzy at the end of the night. He was shouting out the colors of each firework as it boomed in the sky. Priceless!
St. Paul rodeo

A new adventure for our little family this year included being spectators at the local parades. WE HIT UP TWO OF THEM! The first one was a test drive for Cason…the kiddie parade. It’s a short and sweet parade, with lots of candy. We met up with his best buddies and cousins for a nice night out, where all we saw was Stars, Stripes and Smiles.

parade horse

kiddie parade

{Red, White and True Blue Friends}

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{All Star Cousins}

all star cousins

The next parade was the large 4th of July parade…oh my word, I didn’t even know this town had that many people. Every street was packed with parade goers. We saw some amazing floats and lots of people we knew from the neighborhood…even our animal/cattle vet had a float.

{All Decked Out in Red, White and Blue}

parade

{First Fireworks~ Sparklers}

Fourth of July 2014 Sparklers

BTW, has anybody noticed that the sparklers out now are nowhere near as big and sparkly as they were when we were  kiddos! Cason loved the sparklers…we ended up going through the entire box of sparklers and all the other fireworks the hubby and kiddo picked out from the firework stand.  I am not sure who was into them more…Cason the two-year old or the hubby, the thirty something year old. Especially when the kiddo was tired and  passing out in my lap and the hubby wanted to keep going. LOL

It never fails in the valley, 4th of July week means HAY SEASON for everyone. Therefore, the farms and farmers that grow their own hay are on tractors all day, trying to finish and get out of the fields before the BBQ’s.  We put up around 50+ acres in grass/clover hay for our cattle. The way the schedule fell, we ended up having our Independence Day BBQ on the 5th of July.  We don’t even require showers or cleaning up…just travel on over after you step off the tractor and enjoy some tri-tip, corn on the cob and a cold one…plus more fireworks.

{Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue Decor}

back patio

The Hubby and I DIY’ed this farmhouse patio table for less than $100.00. I absolutely love it and we seemed to be using this outdoor table more this summer than our indoor farmhouse table. I will post all the information on the stain color and tutorial soon.

back patio 1

USA Bar

back patio 2

decor

I hope everyone’s Independence Day was a blast!

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” ~Erma Bombeck

Beach or Bust

Beach Trio

For my birthday weekend…the sweet hubby planned a beach trip for our little family.  We live less than 2 hours from the beach…but never seem to make the trek and have a some down time in the sand. This trip was a “Beach or Bust” trip…it was going to happen, rain or shine. I stocked up on the cutest beach supplies at one of my fav stores, Target… they have everything! beach supplies

A must at the beach…is a fresh crab cocktail from the Newport Ports.  While enjoying your cocktail you can visit with the Sea Lions. My little guy was fascinated with these sea creatures…we sat and watched these big guys bark back and forth at each other, for over an hour.

port of newport

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Cason asked if he could go pet one and take it home to play with his doggies…simply request? Come on Dada let load up a Sea Lion for the back yard.

sea lion 1

The ports actually have a piece of the dock that traveled across the ocean for miles and landed on the Oregon Coast, after the Japan Tsunami, incredible piece of history to see and touch.

dock

We stayed at our favorite spot in Lincoln City, Oregon…Surftides. This place is perfect for family fun trip…they have ocean view rooms with balcony’s, easy beach access and fire pits in the courtyard.

First Stop ~ The Beach

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double beach 2014

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The weather wasn’t as warm as we hoped, therefore no cute flamingo swim trunks, but we had a grand ol’ time playing chase in the sand, making sand castle and burying our feet.

dada double

Cason Name

 

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After playing on the beach for hours we were started to turn into popsicles and needed to warm up… so we headed back up to the hotel’s courtyard around the fire pits for “happy hour” and made S’mores with the little guy. He was a little more interested in just eating the S’more ingredients, before we toasted them.

smores

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The hotel room was decorated in a rustic beachy chic way… I just fell in LOVE with this light. Maybe a DIY project in the future…Beach Trip May 2014 142

Another Birthday down in the books…Nothing beats a little family trip and sand in your toes.

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Birthday Wish

Cason 1

My little TWO YEAR OLD (wow that is a hard one to type, he is growing up way to fast) has a mad passion for PLANES right now. We live in the flight plan of all the major airlines, who land at PDX, also we are surrounded by private smaller airports, therefore everyday we have plane after plane flying directly over our ranch. The kiddo lets us know when they are flying over, even on cloudy days. HE HAS EXCELLENT PLANE RADAR…he can hear them before he spots them in the sky.

My Father and Uncle own a small plane and are both certified pilots (for more info see my Sky High post). Cason knows that his Grandpa or otherwise known as “Gee” (Cason started calling him “G” but now it is “Gee” and has stuck…”Granny and Gee” has a nice ring to it) has a plane and scrolls through “Gee’s” IPhone to see pictures of his plane. For months he has been begging to see the plane, therefore for his birthday wish we made a special trip to the aviation airport just for him to see and sit in the plane.  My only intentions were for him to sit in the plane and look at all the controls, watch a few planes take off and land.  I mean we were not going to up in the air, this kiddo is super scared of the car wash…he wouldn’t want to fly in a small plane.

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But he saw the planes taking off and said he wanted to fly in the sky… so we loaded up in the plane and were ready for takeoff, headphones and all! (Sorry about the close up, some fuzzy pic’s…we were sitting so close it was hard for me to zoom in and out, in focus…plus I am not camera savvy)!

Cason 2

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These are noise canceling headphones and voice activated for everyone to hear/communicate to each other in the plane, you can also hear the tower and other pilots. They were a 2 year olds favorite new toy…he loved talking into them and hearing everyone respond back to his little sweet “hi…hi…hi”.

We flew low and it was a nice day, so you could see everything below…why not fly over the ranch and do a little fly by to the Dada.

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…all the little black dots are the COWS

farm

This special little guy’s birthday wish came true and he was on “cloud 9” for the rest of the evening, which was followed up by a birthday dinner (next to the water, his 2nd request) and then a chocolate sundae!

Cason Flight 086

Sneak Peek: Cason Turns Two Photo Shoot was a huge success. Can’t wait to share all the perfect pics.  BTW the theme to his Birthday Bash is “Vintage Airplane”!

cason 2 double

Birthday Boy

One trio

Birthday Countdown has begun for a soon to be TWO year old. I can’t believe my baby boy is going to be TWO in TWO days…it is so crazy how time flies. We have had to reschedule “Cason’s Turning Two” photo shoot a few times for weather and the “black eye accident”…or I should say swollen Black and Blue face that has now turned a nice shade of murky green. The poor kiddo took a big spill and landed FACE FIRST onto his picnic table bench. He thinks he looks pretty tough, but this Mama postpone the pic shoot until we are a little more healed up. Our favorite family photographer, Audrey, shot the most perfect one year old photos last year. She has put on her patience hat and agreed to capture some photos of the “Tasmanian Two Year Old”, who refuses to stay in one spot for more that a second. I can’t wait for the photos…on the FLY, literally!

Last year’s ONE year old theme was {Little Red Wagons}

wagon trio

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Duo

After the 2 Year Old photo shoot, party planning for Cason’s Turning Two bash will be in full swing.  Cason is super excited for this year’s theme. He is obsessed with them and has even helped pick out all the fun goodies for the swag bags.

{Coming Soon} on the the Blog will be the party photos from the LITTLE RED WAGON SHINDIG, including all the decor and, of course, desserts.

Wish us luck on the Turning Two Photo Shoot ~Lindsey

Welcome Spring

Spring DirtSpring has hit us with a bang…finally! I don’t know about you but Old Man Winter lasted way to long for my family and I and we have been going stir crazy waiting for spring. The family has what I medically refer to as “houseatosis” …we can’t be cooped up in the house any longer.  As my little guys says as soon as he wakes up…”outside, outside, outside, MAMA, outside”!  The cattle around our farm find this little, but highly noisy human being, to be fascinating and follow him around everywhere on his adventures.

 

These longer days with the glistening sun = PERFECTION. We have been outside enjoying all the new baby calves, literally hitting the ground left and right. Some days we have had over 6 baby calves born within hours of each other. They are so much fun to watch when it is dusk…they buck and kick all over the fields, some are still a little wobbly and do trip and fall.baby calf

 

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This little Angus bull calf was born with in the hour and his mother got him all cleaned up just before dusk for a sweet picture pose.

 

Lots of DIY projects have been happening around here and I can’t wait to find a free moment to post some of my 30 minute or less “Feelin’ Crafty” projects.  A few of these fun crafts are so quick and easy my 22 month old help me tackle them and had a blast doing it.

Bye Bye Bulls

This blog post is going to switch gears a bit and reveal some of the financial side of our cattle ranch~WinterBrook Farms.  Sometimes you got to make a little money here and there, at least that’s what our farm accountant preaches.  Plus my dad is always in my ear telling me I can’t keep them all, even though they may be my very large pets; we need to sell some of these cows and bulls.

Earlier this month we traveled down south to the Klamath Bull and Horse Sale; where we had 2 of our show bulls entered in this show and sale.  These Purebred Angus bulls were 18 months and a coming 2 year old; they were of age and ready to start breeding some cows.  In fact, they were constantly trying to tear down theirs pens and the barn to escape and go visit our lady cows. Basically, they were turning into BIG pain in the @ss bulls. They were halter and show ring broke, we hauled them to several shows on the west coast this last summer, where they always placed top of the class. WB Brilliance ISAC 1216 “Brilliance” was born in September 2012 and weighted over 1600 lbs and WB On the Mark 2124 “Marky Mark” was born in March 2012 and weighed over 2000 lbs.  Both bulls graded over 90 in sale, which is very high on a scale of 85 to 92.  Below 85 bulls are not fit to sell as a breeding bull and 92 graded bulls are the champions.  Our Brilliance bull claimed Overall Champion Halter Bull after claiming Champion Halter Angus Bull and sold 2nd through the ring. Marky Mark graded a 90 and sold 16th through the sale.  I am happy to say that both bulls went to great cattle ranches in Oregon and California, which makes me excited for their future and their offspring’s future.klamath champion halter

This photo (courtesy of Country Couture Photography) is of me holding Marky Mark, while he was being auctioned off to the highest bidder in the sale ring.

klamath bull sale 2014-Marky Mark

Now that the bulls were off to their new homes we needed to get back to the ranch as soon as possible and help my dad tend to the rest of the cattle herd, which were buried up to their bellies in snow.  It just so happens that this sale weekend was the same weekend our “WINTER” decided to show up and covered the valley floor with over a foot of snow, breaking all sorts of weather records. Our ranch is not set up for below 20 degree weather for long periods of time…our water wells and stock tanks freeze SOLID.  Oh ya, did I mention that our brand new baby calves where hitting the ground and you had to tend to them immediately before frost bite sets in or something worse.  Therefore, we had no other option, but to trek home in the snow/ice covered freeways with chains on both truck and trailer for over 150 miles. In this picture, if you could only hear the words coming out of my hubby’s mouth, as he is trying to chain up our dually truck, with the very narrow “flatbed to tire” clearance.klamath road trip

We made it home safely and all the cattle and farm animals survived the storm…and floods after the snow melted.

Darling Donkeys

Over the holidays, we added a few new additions to the farm…Miniature Sicilian Donkeys!

{Meet Minnie and Daisy}

Daisy Minnie

As a child, I have fond memories of our Farm Mascot, a mini donkey named Gabby…Gabby was a mini jack that my dad and grandpa shipped out from Nebraska, as a weanling.  He was very LOUD, playful and slightly mischievous {he would escape from his stall by jumping over his “mini-sized” stall door and roam the farm}. We would take Gabby for walks all over the farm and play fantasy horse show with him, giving out old ribbons and trophy’s lying around the farm. When he was done playing with us kiddos…he would simply buck us off and run back to his stall. Gabby was even my school science fair project one year.  He came to school during the science fair and met my entire grade school throughout the day.  He loved kids.  Gabby lived on our family farm to the rightful age of 34.

Cason’s passion for animals and helping care for his dogs, cats & cows has grown tremendously throughout the year. However, as a typical crazy mama, I am panicking over the lack of fear he has towards the “large and in charge” cows. He continually wants to brush and feed ALL of his animals, which is a super sweet thing, other than our Doxie Dog, Gracie, is taking advantage of this sweet task and has packed on a few extra pounds!  I love the fact that he is gaining the knowledge and experience of responsibility, but fear he may accidently get hurt or injured by the cows at his small size.  Therefore, I knew what would be the perfect pet for him to learn the “how to’s” when caring for a farm animal. MINI DONKEYS! Miniature donkeys by nature are a sweet, docile and loving animal, which makes them good companions and pets for children. They do, however, demand attention and don’t like being alone.  So we decided to get a pair of young Jenny’s, for companionship.

Cason is in LOVE with Minnie and Daisy, along with everyone else around the farm.  These sweet girls love it when Cason comes to visit or brings visitors.  His favorite thing is to hand feed them carrot horse treats, while sometimes sampling the treat himself and then feeding it to the easy-going Minnie. Cason has taken on the routine of feeding his donkeys grain and hay, while helping fill the water buckets.  But his favorite task is taking them for walks and finishing up with a good ol’ brush down. When we are out in the barn taking care of the show cattle, Cason will play and run around in their paddock, while Minnie follows him around waiting for hugs and some lovin’! A boy and his donkey…2013-5174 2013-5149 2013-5151 2013-5178 2013-5181 2013-5186

Photos were captured by our favorite family photographer Audrey, @ Vintage Photography.