G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision


This is what many mornings look like here….

We recently changed his days off to feed and he forgot this was his day off. He often brings Ruby up to the house. She sits on his lap while he does school, reads or watches a movie.  The first rabbits we got have never been very friendly. But this last batch we got are very friendly and entertaining. We kept two out of the batch to keep as breeders and the rest will feed our family. 

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Farm Sadness



We have heavy hearts today as we found one of our dogs dead today.  Faith, our youngest who just turned one not too long ago.  She was one of our two barn dogs. I couldn’t tell what caused it, which saddened me.  But it did give my son and & I an opportunity to talk about grief.  Bug was only 5 when my Momma passed away.  He loved his Grammie very much, but some children don’t cry a lot at loss at very young ages.  Not like we tend to do as adults and I believe it has to do with their innocence. .
But he reacts different now that he’s older. I remember the first roosters we butchered. He cried and honestly, I did to a bit on the first one. Taking a life, even of an animal for food, should not be easy.  He bagan to cry on the second rooster but I told him to stop.  You probably just had one of two thoughts…1) I’m insensitive or 2) you understood why I made him stop. No, we don’t believe it’s wrong for boys to cry. But we can’t let our emotions rule us.  I explained to him it is sad, and we should never become numb to feeling something even when butchering animals.  But there is a purpose to it and we have a job to do.



Morning Chores

Most mornings it is Bug’s responsibility to feed the animals, but I give him two mornings off. Many times we help each other in the evenings.  Today was one of my days and then had to go back up to the house to turn on the water. I enjoyed filling the waters today and talking to the animals.  Yes, I talk to my animals and some of them talk to me. 

We need to come up with a better watering system for the red wattles. They constantly knock their water over or play in it. It was so adorable to watch them drink from the hose and also stick their head into the big green bucket and hear them blow bubbles.  Water is precious here in West Texas, so we need to conserve it. (Yes, it is precious everywhere). When we put them in their permanent area and build the new shelter, we will add a gutter and some rain barrels to use for their mud hole that they enjoy so much.  But their is a need for a better system for their drinking water. It’s hard to keep them with clean water as they stick their muddy heads deep into their buckets.

For the pot belly pigs they have a large drinking water bowl as well as a large feed mixing bowl that they use as a pool.  It’s to cute to watch them in it. They’ve been helping us by rooting up the baling twine where the previous owners kept the hay for their cattle and would just put the next bale on top without picking up the twine. So we have to go and cut it out often so the pigs don’t get hurt.  Talk about team work!!!

It’s always nice when we get rain because we put gutters up on the front of the barn with a spill off going to a rain barrel and another going directly into the horse trough. Nothing puts it into prospective how much rain comes from the sky until you see how quickly a 55 gallon barrel can fill up.  But today I had to fill the trough and enjoyed watching Lilly & Gypsy (horses) and Joey (cow) take their naps. Joey did lift his head when I called him;followed by a look that said ‘I’m not getting up).  

It’s a beautiful day today! The wind is blowing, but not too hard (we get some seriously strong winds here).  The temperature is perfect and sun is enjoyable! I just wanted to share a couple pictures from two years ago. This time of year we get gorgeous sunsets! Wish I could have taken a picture of last nights sky as we were feeding animas when we got home.

Don’t forget to take time to enjoy the beauty around you when doing your chores!

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I have to say I’m excited that the blog has 21 followers! Because that tells us that 21 people have enjoyed and/or felt what they read was useful and encouraging.  And many more have stopped by, read a post or two and liked them.  I don’t have a lot of time to read too many other blogs, but I get around the web and find a bunch of useful and uplifting posts myself. 

I find there are certain blog set ups I can maneuver around easier and have tried to bring those ways to ours. The use of categories and tags are what I find most useful.  Especially when I get to a blog via Pinterest and am looking for specific types of post. 

So I just wanted to let you know that we have incorporated those functions on this blog. Sometimes I publish a post forgetting to tag them, but I try to go back and fix it. Especially because we blog about so many different things: animals, recipes, homemade cleaners, homeschooling, building, crafts. I’ve always had a heart for sharing.

And if I can ever figure out how, I will add a search bar. I enjoy that feature on blogs too. 

What do you find useful when you’re on a blog?


Wish I Drank!

No, I really don’t because I quit smoking a couple of months ago, still not super strong and I know a drink would make an immediate craving for a cigarette. No thank you!  But yesterday was NOT a great school day.  Any day that calls for a back pack (Bug) and book bag (teacher) usually means it will not be smooth sailing.  That part of it was not his fault.

Hubby had to head back to the rig today.  And I had to make up my dr. appointment today that I missed because I forgot to grab the paperwork (and school bag); so when we got to the office, there was only time for Hubby’s appointment.

We managed to get spelling done today.  We worked on it numerous times in between waiting for the nurse to call me back, then for the N.P. to come in, then while waiting for blood work and finally finishing at home.  Bug was already getting frustrated because ‘he kept misspelling the same words’.  He definitely didn’t like when I made a comment that I didn’t want to listen to him whine about it since he never bothered to spend a few minutes reviewing the ones he got wrong.

Then we went on to Algebra.  That could have been the worst decision!!!! The first five lessons were much easier than we counted on but yesterdays lesson sucker punched us!  It tried teaching about 4 -6 things about roots and radicals, while doing a very poor job explaining some of it.  Thankfully we always have other math books on hand that we can look for further explanation.  That and will have to Skype with First Born very soon!

I had an extremely sobering thought last night.  I was only 2 years older than Bug when I took Algebra in school.  That can be taken two ways….1)  I had 2 more years of math and maturity under my belt than he has and 2) that was 30 years ago!!!!!! Three decades!!!  My teacher had a rule, if we were sleeping, talking or not paying attention for any reason, if he called on us and we could answer the question, we would not get in trouble.  I was always doing one of the above, but always able to just look at the problem and spit out the answer. I would have to pay attention in class now.

I think he went brain-dead for a bit which didn’t help things that were only compounded on with other things like fining food wrappers in his dresser drawers that just had stuff stuffed into them.  The lack of order pushed to the edge and the food wrappers pushed me over!!!

We had to take a break!  Bug ended up napping for a couple of hours and I watched some crafting videos. We went back over the same classroom problems we did yesterday and we are about in the same place.  We understand about 60% and only kind of or not-at-all understand the other 40%.  But we both remained calm and joyful.

I also came up with a way to show him the frustration I feel when I am still, after 3 or 4 years repeating the same things and continue to get a ‘ooops, sorry”. I (lightly) punched him in the shoulder. Then I told him to imagine that I was to punch him four times as hard as that each time and when you correct me, I say ‘sorry’.  I would wait a few minutes in between each time and always say ‘sorry’ every time I punched him.  He would even offer his other shoulder when it was time, but I told him it had to be the other shoulder.  After the 5th time of repeating the actions I asked him, “at what point will you question or stop believing I’m sorry?”  He replied after the 3rd.  continuing to make my point, I clarified, “after the 3rd time?  Or after the 3rd week?  3rd month?  Year?”  You could see the lightbulb shine bright as he shook his head and said “I get it now Mom”.

Anyways, I just needed to share my frustrations.  Some have told me I get to serious or uptight about homeschooling.  I don’t disagree when there is a tremendous responsibility on my shoulders to provide my son with a good education.  And how am I suppose to teach my son something if I can’t understand it?

Well, thank you for letting me vent.  If you have any encouragement to share, it would be GREATLY appreciated!


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I think most people remember where they were when they first heard.  I was working at Whataburger in Ingleside, Tx.  We first heard from customers.  Do you remember the amount of disbelief you initially felt?  Something like this doesn’t happen here. I took a bit longer than normal to do my bank run because I sat and listened to the breaking news on the radio.  I also kept trying to call my sister who lived in New York.  And also had no luck reaching my parents in Maine to try to find out exactly where in NY my sister lived.


The urge to leave work and go back to the Island so I could hold my son was tremendous.  However, it was not what I could do.  For a while people would come in the restaurant not knowing what had happened.  Shortly after, it seemed everyone just shared in grief.  I believe it was the most tragic event in American history I was alive for.


I am grateful Bush was our President at the time.  This is not an invitation to turn this into a political debate, but that is my opinion.  To focus on the politics would be an insult to the men and women who lost their lives and those who fought hard.


I still get choked up at the memories of not only that day, but even weeks later.  So I want to take a moment of silence….in memory…..

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Daniel Fast

Our church is doing a corporate Daniel Fast for the next 3 weeks.  That means 3 weeks of no meats and sweets. Hubby is offshore so it is just Buggy & I.  My niece and 2 great-nieces will be visiting during it as well.  Hope Mak loves my veggie chili as much as she loved my regular chili (for a little girl who eats like a bird…she went back for thirds).

I love soup and have been craving it.  Haven’t been impressed with the taste of canned soup for a long time so I went hunting for recipes.  My first go-to site is almost always The Pioneer Woman. I have yet to make a recipe of hers that I haven’t loved.  Her ingredients are ‘normal’ and they are easy to create. And can’t forget the adjective ‘hearty’.  Maybe it’s because she lives on a ranch too.  Would love to sit and have a cup of tea with her.

So, I have printed out my recipes, made my shopping list and now trying to figure out when we will go to the store. When you live 30 minutes from town (including the one you live in, lol) it takes planning.  It takes 15 minutes just to get to the ‘corner store’.

I’ve already told Bug he will be helping to cook many of these soups.  I love to incorporate real life experiences to his school days.  I remember seeing a thing on Facebook about the best test to see if you’re a control freak…bake with your children.  LOL, I FAIL!!!  I conclude I am a control freak.  I do tend to just do it myself and get it done quicker BUT my son also deserves to learn how to cook.  And as a parent, we often have to put aside what we like or what is easier for ourselves and do what is right for our children.  At least, that’s how it should be.

Just wanted to give you a heads up of what you can expect to see in the upcoming recipe reviews.

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Smells like Boy

Our house back in the Magnolia State had more carpet than not.  Even the dining room had carpet until we tore it up and laid tile eight years later.  So when we found the ranch, Momma was happy that there was only carpet in 3 of the bedrooms.

I do remember growing up and my Mom buying carpet fresheners and I have bought them a few times in my adult life.  Maybe it just happened to grab my attention as I walked down that isle?  Just not something I bought or even thought of buying very often.

The older section of the ranch is a bit older.  Somewhere around my age I think and the carpets look they aren’t much younger than the house.  And our Bug is hitting his tween years….and tween smell! I would say ‘Ughhh, this room smells like….like….boyyyyy!’,  almost every time I went in there.  Bug would be like ‘duh!’ and hubby would laugh.

It’s kind of like dogs…I love dogs, but do not enjoy the smell of wet dogs one bit!  Perhaps, his room smelled more like a mix of the two?  Just picture my face with my lips curled down and my nose scrunched up.  Smelled worse than that, lol.

Thinking more about it, I would say I didn’t buy carpet powder because my hubby had gotten me the Oreck Orbitor dry carpet cleaner.  That was one of the best things he got me.  But he was tired of watching me spend 6 hours on my hands & knees cleaning old, beige carpets.

Recently I came across a recipe for Homemade Dry Carpet Cleaner For Fresh and Clean Rugs on POPSUGAR Smart Living again.  I love it!!!! I can walk into Bug’s room without my face going all askew.

Not sure what the makeup of Borax is, so am not sure if it can be described as ‘all-natural’; and the recipe does call it optional. I will probably look it up at some point, but for now I have other things to do.  I will say as I was looking for the recipe I used to link for you, I found another recipe that just called for 2 cups corn meal and 1 cup borax.  Hmmmm, starting to wonder if these were the main ingredients in the $50 carpet cleaning powder I use to buy from Oreck?

For some reason, it seems I’m never able to (or maybe just don’t want to) follow a recipe to the T. I didn’t have any whole cloves, but I had picked up some mulling spice mix right before making the powder the first time and chose to use that.  Mulling Spices is a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, orange and lemon peel, star anise, cloves, fenugreek and ginger.  Which I do like to put in the processor to powderize before i add to the mix.

Do I have any complaints?  No, I would call it more of a downside than a complaint.IMG_3926  I made a big mess.  But I am a messy person and could make a mess of a non-messy recipe.  It’s just one of the things that make me me. And it is an easy mess to clean up, but I did go ahead and make a double batch today.


While I am not a fan of carpeting, I am also not a fan of cold floors.  So I really do need to find some area rugs for Hubby & my room.



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I Remember

Now that I remember the password, I can update the blog. Lots to catch up on since last summer. We have chickens, horses, a garden and a granddaughter. Life is good. We have gotten a lot done, yet so very much to do! Will catch you up soon!

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The Stars Over Texas

I pray I never stop getting amazed when I step outside at night and see the stars!  Being away from city lights, especially on nights with no moon….it is breathtaking!!!!  The first few nights, we sat outside every night.  I got so tickled when I saw the Milky Way.  Can you believe I actually FORGOT about the Milky Way???  Honestly can’t remember the last time I had seen it, let alone thought about it.  So my heart is so thankful that it will be a regular sight!

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