Monday, August 16, 2010

Another victim bit the dust...

I am afraid we have lost another lightening victim.

We get what they call "severe" lightening storms around here. 

We often get lightening strikes around the ranch and have little fires when it strikes trees that sometimes turn into bigger fires that need tended.

We just had one such storm in fact.  Our electricity went out 5 times.  The lightening didn't seem all that bad really; pretty bad I guess, but bad enough apparently... for now the kids wii will not turn on.  Ohhhh.... the joy.  I will pretend to myself for a while longer that it is just "resting" and will start working again some time in the near future.  But in all reality... I know it won't... I just don't want to admit that yet.  It was the kids' joint Christmas present last year.  It worked very well for a reward system for schooling and getting chores done.  And it was not cheap.

I am just now letting myself come to the reality that our printer is not going to miraculously turn back on.  I try a few times a week.... just in case.  But no luck.  I have been trying for months.  It was also a victim to a lightening storm we had early springtime.

We have all our electronics plugged into those fancy surge protectors.  Not the cheapo ones, but the supposedly good ones.

But over the years many of our electronic devices have fallen victim to lightening. 

One television, one computer, all the outlets in our bedroom and all the outlets along one living room wall, two printers and now the wii.

I guess it isn't all that much really.  But it seems like a ton to me!

I guess we are going to have to leave all things unplugged at all times unless we are using them.  Cowboy was actually on the wii this afternoon.  I didn't think the storm was bad enough to unplug anything but guess I was WRONG big time, huh!

Guess we need to look into one of those little lightening rods to put on the house I read about sometime in the past.  Is that what everybody else has.  Or are we just lucky?!

I guess I won't have to think about Christmas presents this year; it will just be a repeat of last year.  Unfortunate though... I was thinking about getting a microscope for schooling purposes.  HMMM.

WoW... I just discovered there is a spelling checker on this page.  Guess I ought to start checking all my posts... they are probably a mess!

**** well good news to report!
I searched "wii won't turn on after power outage" on the good old internet and found some advice to unplug it and let it rest for a half hour.  So we let it rest for a few hours ... you know ... more is always better, right?  Well I just tried it and it WORKS!  I will have a happy Crew in the morning. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lil Guy, farmers market and yearlings....

All rolled into one pleasant Saturday...

Last weekend we took an impromptu (is that how you spell that?) trip down to Sugar City (about 2 hours away from our house) to our other family ranch.  We had big plans to see Rancher's brother, his wife and their new little guy.  Lil Guy is 7 weeks old now and ... OH, what a little cutie pie!  We are so excited for them and their growing family.  We are excited for Lil Squirt to have a little buddy his age on the ranch and we look forward to watching Lil Guy grow and learn.  We are going to have to get together a lot more so I can get me some little snuggles in with sweet Lil Guy.

Anyhow, our 2nd motive for the visit was to hit the farmer's market and see what they had out and what the prices were like.  We picked up some fresh melons, but what I was really after were onions, and they were priced awfully high I thought.  In the past I have gotten 100 pounds of them in the fall and packed them all carefully in the extra fridge and they lasted really well through the year and were so much fresher (and cheaper) than the grocery store.  I am thinking maybe it is a little early in the year still.... I hope.  So that will give me another excuse to go down and check the prices in a week or two... and see Lil Guy..... and of course his awesome parents.

The 3rd motive of our trip was to check out the yearlings.  We moved them down there from the ranch here several months ago.  Rancher Husband, I and the Crew all took BIL's ranger out to check them out and got a few nice pictures.  Boy the grass is green and they are growing well.

I got quite a few pics. of them.  Here are a few.  I also updated the beef website's pics. if you want to see a few more there.  The link to the beef website is under "Ranch" .

The Crew...
see that Cowgirl has her camera in hand also. LOL.

The yearlings....(a few of them at least)

Don't they look happy?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A love/hate relationship...



I grew up handwashing dishes.  I liked to wash them when I was little.  I remember using pure cold water and not much soap.  I didn't like hot water and I didn't like the slimy feeling of soap (smile).

When I was a teen we had a dishwasher.  Oh, the wonder of the dishwasher.  You could actually put dirty dishes in and then take them out clean!  Except for one thing... Mom insisted that we pretty much 'wash' them before putting them in and there was only certain things that were allowed inside that wonder.  So we still had to handwash a lot of dishes.  But I didn't mind.  I didn't have a lot of better things to do.  I even used warm water and soap.

As a young married adult, we didn't have a dishwasher at our first house.  I spent a lot of time handwashing dishes.  I had a lot of better things to do outside.  I would rather go spend my days helping Rancher husband than washing dishes.  I had a hard time keeping up.  We had V.E.R.Y. hard water and it actually ruined some of our dishes.  You had to hand dry them fast or they would get these horrible water marks.  It was a pain in the patooty.

Then a few years later we moved into our current house.  It had a dishwasher.  Oh... the wonder of the dishwasher.  I loved it.  I put everything in it!  I taking out my sparkly dishes that didn't have any spots.  I could load that dishwasher in a flash.  It was a cheapo version with the manual settings.  Nothing fancy about it.  But .... oh... did it ever clean those dishes. 

I commented to everybody how much I loved my dishwasher.  Nobody should ever be without one.  They are so nice... ect.... ect...
I remember my sister wanting to handwash my dishes and I encouraged her to put them in the dishwasher.  She said she never used hers.  I told her one day when she was married and had kids she would also be very thankful for her dishwasher... just wait.

Fast forward through 3 kids.  When you are loading and unloading dishwashers toddlers feel very invited to climb onto, stand on and bounce on dishwasher doors.  Our very standard, plain jane dishwasher didn't have any sort of locking feature.  If you shut it it would turn on.  The little toddlers learned how to open it and climb on for a little jumping round.  This was a constant battle. 

Little by little the door broke off.  Completely off.  The electronic components got messed up.

So after the 3rd toddler was old enough to leave the dishwasher alone we went out to get a new one.  Boy oh boy how exciting.  There were so many options.  We stuck with the lower priced ones of course.  But this time we got one that had all sorts of buttons and locking features and different cycles.  I was soo excited.  We got it all hooked up and took it for a spin. 

It worked ok.  Not any better than my old standard no frills model.  But I knew we would have to give it time to shine. 

That was two years ago.  It never did shine.  It is a huge dissapointment.  Sometimes it runs and sometimes it doesn't.  But mostly.... doesn't.  About 3/4ths the time it stops halfway through the cycle and beeps and flashes lights at me.  It hardly ever finishes the rinse cycle.  And since it is a fancy pants model with electronic buttons, I can't just turn the dial back for a little rinse.  You have to start all over at the beginning. 

A few times it made it all through the cycle without beeping at me and the kids put the dishes away before I discovered that the soap had never been dispensed.  So we had to dig all the dishes back out of the shelves and wash them again!

Even when it does make it through the cycle and properly dispense the soap, the dishes never seem to turn out sparkly and clean.  I have tried all sorts of soaps and rinse aids.  I have given up hope on "great" results and now just hoping for "good" results. 

A month ago, the dishwasher quit.  It just wouldn't turn on one day.  No blinking, no beeping, nothing.  I flipped all the breakers in the house and still nothing. 

I said a few choice words and bought myself a dish rack dryer thing and started handwashing again.  Boy did those dishes begin to shine.  Clean dishes are very nice. 

Rancher husband said we could fix that dishwasher.  I said I wasn't sure I wanted to bother.  Even when it ran it never did wash dishes very good.

So I wash the dishes several times a day.  Because it takes forever if you let them pile up at all.

Then one day last week I came in the house and saw that dishwasher blinking at me!  I was slightly hopeful.  I loaded it and started it.  It ran and ran and just about made it through a whole entire cycle....

and then it quit....


No power at all.

I said oh well and washed them myself.

I think it is more a joy of clean dishes than a joy of handwashing them.

We'll see how long I can keep it up.

I do have a few choice backups in mind at least.


Friday, August 6, 2010

rain.... and rattlesnakes....

We are being blessed with a wet summer.  The grass around here is .... out of the mouth of Rancher "about as good as it gets".  He tallied up the rains in his little red book this morning and reported that here at the house we have gotten 6'' since the 8th of July!!  The grass looks great and the cattle are happy campers.

But ... I wasn't done fixing my ditches and water diversion mounds of dirt around my very recently cleaned out goat shed.   And yes, you guessed it.... it rained and it poured and it flooded.  And I mean water standing in the shed half a foot deep.   I had some very unhappy milkers.  So Rancher helped me move them around and into dry sheds in the growing darkness just as the second storm hit and rained some more.  It was a fast and hard rain and we got 1 in and 3/10ths.  But most of the first inch came in about 10-15 minutes and was accompanied by hail.  Not near as bad as the hail storm last summer though.  We didn't loose any windows this time.  Thank goodness.

So... yesterday, Rancher husband helped me clean out a different shed and move dirt around and dig deeper ditches and move goats around and now I think we could get a 3 inch. rain and all would be fine.  But right now all the goats are out

-----------------  small break to verify whether or not there was truth to the "snake....snake!"  coming from the Crew.  There was!  So I proceeded to kill the baby 6 or 7 in. rattler with a single button that was hanging out by the front door.  We have killed way too many of those little bitty things near our house over the years for my comfort.  (by the way... 1 rattler is too many for my comfort level!) 
I DO NOT like snakes, but having to kill a rattler gets my heart to pounding.... even faster than it normally pounds! -------------------

Anyhow... so we have the milkers out of the shed until it dries out and then we should be good to go for the winter.  While we were busy with the skidloader yesterday I commented that we should clean out the buck shed also, but Rancher said I was maxed out on "goat days" for a while.  I can't complain.  We got a lot done and it looks great.  And all the goats are once again happy campers.  Rancher says we have the most spoiled goats around.  I won't bother telling him my goats might be spoiled compared to the range cows, but they certainly are not as spoiled as some other dairy goats I know of.
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