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Monday, August 03, 2009

You Know You've Moved to the Ranch...


when your drive home passes by huge agribusiness, a power plant, and a junk yard, as well as a marine refuge, a working harbor, and a slough.

when your first attempt at ridding the house of flies nets you forty dead in a matter of minutes.

when your average for killing Black Widows is about one a day, including the two you found in the kitchen.

when amplified Mexican Polka is de rigeur.

when you find three gopher snake sheddings in the front yard.

when you unearth someone's rock collection under the olive trees and it's full of fossils and obsidian and lava rock and lots more to be learned about.

when there is at least one or two owl pellets on, or near, the front walkway daily.

when you go to the local market and the checker and bagger laugh at the guy before you, after he leaves, because he bought soy creamer.

when the nearest natural food store is 23 miles away.

when you no longer wear your cute, homemade skirts because of the foxtails.

when you buy your knew wardrobe at the hardware store (20% off all Dickies).

when you dig a hole in the front yard just to entertain the kids.

when your six-year-old starts to teach himself to groom the horses by standing on the fence and reaching over.

when your kid can make a bike track that goes around and around the house.

when you have so many things needing fixing, so many weeds to manage and fences and water leaks to mend, so much housework and fly killing to do; while at the same time your children are undoing things done, and your six-year-old has skipped childhood and moved onto sassy teenager, and the kids hit each other and you contemplate hitting them; and you read Charlotte's Web out loud, barely making it through the end because you're crying too much; and your oldest tells you that the new house has more yelling; and the weeds grow and the buildings deteriorate faster than you can keep up — that you wonder if you like your life.

when right after you wonder about liking your life, you have your own George Bailey moment.

when your kid doesn't come running like he's supposed to after you blow the conch shell (and he always comes running)

when your littlest is wishing for magic to find his brother.

when you call your husband to say you can't find your kid.

when you've searched all the buildings and have only the driveway that leads down to the speedy road left to look at.

when you spy some knees sticking out above the weeds that belong to your child who has fallen asleep while waiting for the dinner guests to arrive — bike helmet and all.

That is when you know you've moved to the Ranch.

Photo by the talented jo ann manolis. Thanks, J.


Blogger PamKittyMorning said...

Some of those things seem amazing, a couple not so much.

Mon Aug 03, 11:14:00 PM PDT  
OpenID mushroomvillagers said...

Sounds awesome.

Tue Aug 04, 12:07:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Cele said...

How wonderful and scary it all sounds. One thing is for sure, it doesn't sound like you will ever be bored.
Falling asleep waiting for visitors how cute :)

Tue Aug 04, 01:29:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Kitchen Cabinets said...

Good post indeed! Thanks for sharing such nice information.

Tue Aug 04, 06:26:00 AM PDT  
Blogger mo said...

WOW! There is something so great about all of that. Except the black widows.

Tue Aug 04, 09:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Regina said...

Wow! Seems intense but amazing at the same time.

Tue Aug 04, 09:52:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Momma Bear said...

oh my. what an adventure. even amidst the rough patches, i'm envious. take care

Tue Aug 04, 10:22:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Heather said...

I don't think you could have summed up life out here much better. I may not have quite the ranch that you do, but my little 1/2 acre of Prunetucky seems to possess the same blend of bitter and sweet.

Tue Aug 04, 04:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger futuregirl said...

Beautiful photo of your boys! Man, they are growing up fast. It may not be the ideal life, living there on the ranch, but it sounds like it's a life that is creating a trail of rich memories for all of you.

Tue Aug 04, 05:03:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Aurora said...

Well well well! What a busy mama you have been! Lookie what happens when I don't drop in for God knows how long.

Welcome to ranch living! I knew we had a lot in common.

Email me and let me know where you are now!


Tue Aug 04, 05:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Blaize said...

I looked over the fence into my neighbor's yard, because there was some rustling going on, and I thought I would have to rescue yet another lizard or snake that my kitten is DETERMINED want to play with her because she LOVES them.

Instead, for the second time in a week, my neighbor cat had the back half of a California ground squirrel. At least this time I saw the head. Last time, I was thinking he must have eaten it.

Tue Aug 04, 07:17:00 PM PDT  
Blogger patrice said...

Oh. So that's what you've been up to!
Sounds great.
And a lot of work.
I'll bet in no time, you'll find your rhythm.

Tue Aug 04, 09:23:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Lady P said...

well - i guess that answers the pending question of where have you been and what have you been up to
i don't quite get, though, why you can't wear a skirt anymore

Tue Aug 04, 10:03:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Julia said...

occasional blackwidows = piece of cake

children wanting attention/mom feeling isolated = terrifying.

please come over every day! really.

signed, fellow ranch mom.

Wed Aug 05, 05:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Sarah said...

Whew! That's a lot. Sounds stressful and wonderful at the same time.

Wed Aug 05, 09:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger NanaBeast said...

Really enjoyed this post...except for the black widows. Yikes! From the Mexican Polka (which I live in the midst of, too) to the foxtails, to the grocery store clerks laughing at soy products, to the panic of looking for a missing child, WOW girl, you are living quite the adventure! Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to share it with us.

Wed Aug 05, 02:29:00 PM PDT  
OpenID fiveflowers said...

ok, you have me crying now, because I know... this place will grow and bloom for you:: the transition just sucks. it will be nice once you can get out of survival mode. you wanna come over?

Wed Aug 05, 04:56:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Lori said...

good, good stuff :^)

Thu Aug 06, 12:23:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Island Hood said...

Excellent post, some great advice i could share to a lot of people. Appreciate what you have to say!

Sat Aug 08, 09:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Angelina said...

Wow- I have been so disconnected living under my little rock I didn't know you moved to the little house in the woods at last! Well, many of those things sound hard and dry and sad, but I dream of the day when I will whittle my fat ass into a smaller one just so I can fit in a pair of Dickies.

Now I think you're going to have to make yourself cute long pants to combat the foxtails.

Mon Aug 10, 09:49:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Laurie in faraway PA said...

5 yrs ago we moved from the big city (Seattle, my home town) to a rural, blue collar cow-town full of Amish buggies at the northwestern edge of Pennsylvania (my husband's home town). Life is no longer the same. It's intoxicating, horrifying, glorious, tedious, dangerous, and immensely beautiful. We live on 150 acres of gorgeous treachery. Flies, snakes, bears, coyotes, bobcats, deep ponds, rushing creeks. Many lovelies to keep me awake at 2 am worrying about my little ones. You're a gusto girl, Michelle, from what I can tell. Embrace the insanity, and you will find your place, and your peace. What an incredible gift you and your husband have given your boys. As a family, you'll never be the same. Ain't it grand?!?--take care, Laurie in faraway PA

Mon Aug 10, 01:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger bitter betty said...

heck-tick. Having stuff spiral out of control and having enough space to have to/get to sit back and watch it happen.

Hmmm... are you happy? Wanna get a beer?

Mon Aug 10, 08:43:00 PM PDT  
Blogger TLC Inspirations said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. You have a great writing skill, and I felt like I was right there with you!

Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
Bonnie (TLC Inspirations)

Tue Aug 11, 08:52:00 AM PDT  
Blogger maplesyrup said...

That's how I grew up, and I loved all of it! Can't wait to come and see your oasis!

Tue Aug 11, 09:05:00 AM PDT  
Blogger ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ ✂ said...

Congrats for your blog!
I invite you to visit mine:
I hope you enjoy! ^^

Wed Aug 12, 05:51:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Jo Ann said...

You are so amazing...I love this post, your honesty, and I loved, loved, loved visiting you at the ranch. It is magic. xo, J

Mon Aug 17, 12:31:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Lynn said...

I like your take on ranch life. I also love your skirt collection. Do you have a favorite pattern that you use?

Tue Sep 01, 10:50:00 AM PDT  
Blogger KC said...

HAHAHA Some of that sounds like me....I just call it living in the sticks.

Sun Aug 23, 10:46:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Grey Cottage Studio said...

have missed your posts. Oh, what an adventure you've embarked on. I think you should break out the Little House series next. Sounds like you could add your own volume.

Sun Aug 23, 01:15:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Lori said...

It felt good getting caught up on your new life. I twinged at the soy creamer laughter and feel your pain regarding black widows. Your kids are going to have amazing memories of growing up on the ranch.

Mon Sep 14, 11:03:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Resweater said...

I love this!

Wed Nov 11, 06:20:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Alicia P. said...


You got it, all here. What a great post.

Wishing you all the best.

Mon Nov 23, 08:46:00 AM PST  

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