Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Been off the the blog for a couple of years.... and a couple of really busy years they have been! I regret not blogging during that time.

I have moved everything over to my new webpage, including current blog

El Rancho Asno Blanco website has pictures of herd sires, kids, sales goats. I will be copying an moving the old blog over...

Please join us!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Our dog Agatha, the beautiful white husky, has been dognapped.

We are pulling out all of the stops and are willing to pay a hefty cash reward for information that results in her return. She is an important member of our family and our ranch team.

She had on her collar with her Snook Vet Clinic rabies tag and another tag with two phone numbers. She is microchipped. Finally, she has startling blue eyes (hard to tell from these pictures.) and a pink nose. Please help bring Agatha home!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Stones and Sticks

Finally, the workers are all gone, the contractor paid, the gates are locked at night. Our Barndo now enters the next phase-- interior framing and finishing. We have been blessed with rainfall this summer, something we have not had the past few years of the drought. Well, when it rains, some things have to wait.

One of the things that had to wait was our driveways. We had to wait for most of the big heavy trucks to be done before we started putting down rock, or it would just get smashed to the center of the Earth.
Once all the big trucks were done, here came the rain! Two things. First, you cannot move wet dirt or gravel as your tractor will sink. Second, if it rained at the gravel pit, the gravel is full of water, too, and gravel is sold by the ton--- who wants to pay for water?.  For a while we had a cycle of rain, then, just enough time for things to dry, then rain again before the gravel trucks could make it out.

Finally, we had a clear spot and they brought over 100 tons of crushed limestone.  That's a lot of rock! Using his front-end load on his tractor, Dan 'smoofed' the gravel around and built the beginnings of a driveway to the 14' gable end door, and most of a driveway up to our parking area by the west porch.  Remember what your Kubota dealer tells you--- your front end loader does not make your compact tractor a bulldozer (ahem).

Then, on Sunday, July 20, 2014, the skies cleared and the driveway firmed up. "Secure the camper! We're moving today!"

Old Blue (you've heard me talk about the wonder truck often) squared up his fenders and backed up to the RV, squatted down and drug it down the road to the oil field, turned around and headed uphill to our new Barndo! Big Dan backed the trailer up to the door, with young Dan carefully directing. Right before the trailer entered the doorway, a bump in the driveway caused it to lurch left. Immediate stop!

After two or ten times of straightening and backing, the trailer was finally inside! Wow, what a difference. Although I love my son dearly, living in his backyard had gotten old. Neighborhood dogs had built forts under the RV and stored all manner of dog treasures there; everything from sticks and stones, to paper and bones! Major clean up job ahead! Then we can level the ground and he can have a proper yard.

What an improvement being on concrete makes! We moved our refrigerator out of Danny's house into the Barndo - right outside our door! It's the little things that make life go round. Like being able to get something from the freezer (did someone say BlueBell Ice Cream?) or a gallon of milk, without going into someone else's house!

Last Sunday, the guys began framing up the guest suite and got two walls up. In a Barndo, the metal 'perlins' make the walls really thick when you add wood framing. Our window sills will be at least 8 inches deep!

Once all four walls are up, Lonestar Plumbing of Caldwell will be out to install the on-demand tankless water heater and all the pipes on that end of the barn! Then my work really begins as I install the shower, tub and toilet. A real bathroom is on the horizon!

Hedy does NOT like the pneumatic nail gun sound AT ALL. The first day we started framing, she got into the trailer and climbed up onto the dinette. We could see her through the window. Not sure if she was using the computer to search for help, but anytime we start framing, she either goes in the trailer or runs down the trail to Danny's house.

One of our next projects (in our spare time!), will be to construct a dog/goat alley from Danny's house to our barndo.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The next breeding season and dog archeology

Three weeks ago, we began synchronizing estrus on two adult goats and five yearlings. This way, we will have a five day window on when they will kid, rather than a haphazard guess. Yesterday, we
separated them into two groups. Z1 and her two yearlings, Two Bits and Caped Crusader, went to the lower pasture with Melonhead.  Great Red Spot (the goat with a false pregnancy), Caligoat, Little Momma (no relation to Big Momma), and #5 are in the Maternity Ward with Jupiter. We should hear the patter of little hooves again in late September!

Not a lot going on the Barndo. More fill dirt was delivered this week and they have been packing it
down in preparation for forming and pouring our porches.  I think the porches are going to really be used and worth the cost. Fifteen feet deep, they'll be perfect in any weather. More than enough room for permanent tables and chairs, even a swing or hammock!

Finally, the dogs have been industrious. We know they range onto the neighbors' property, but they typically stay close to home. A few weeks ago, they began bringing home 'souvenirs' from their travels. One day, Agatha came trotting into the yard, proudly carrying a cow skull. Yep, the whole thing. Hedy brought us turtles, both past tense and still kicking. Even Maddy gets in on the game, toting around cattle scapula and tail vertebrae. This morning, through the camper window I saw Hedy on a beeline for the trailer with yet another cow skull. They brought another large skull which is either a big dog or a mountain lion!

And our dogs have nicknames: Dirty, Sturdy and Flirty.  Agatha is definiately a pigpen type of girl. Hedy is big and strong, immovable. And little Maddy, with the gleam in her almond shaped eyes, well, she's got me under her paw!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Things

Things are busy at el rancho. In the last week, wildflowers and bluebonnets have exploded onto the scene. The elms are pushing out leaves and the post oaks have grown catkins about six inches long! I love when the soil warms enough for plants to push through and deliver their visual treats for us and their nutritious treats for the goats and donkeys.

All but two does have kidded, so we are surrounded by bouncing, springing. baby goats. They can't help it, they just have to bounce! The oldest kids are now six weeks old and developing some independence from mom.

Today, we decided to move the goats in the Maternity Ward over to the Lower Pasture so they could eat up the rye grass and weeds which are thriving on the fertilizer we put down for the bermuda seed. We will only leave them there for a few days. The bermuda sprouts are so short they won't eat them, so the goat are earning their keep by weeding!  Normally, we move goats between pastures with a bucket of feed; they follow along wherever we lead. This time, we weren't so lucky. The Maternity Ward forage is pretty picked over. Once they left that pasture, they found plenty to eat at hand. nice green stuff, and couldn't care less about some goat chow in a bucket. Some of the kids (feeling a little independent) didn't follow their moms, so then the Dans had to chase down kids and hand them over the fence.

On the house front, we finished installing Danny's entire kitchen! Cabinets, counters, sinks and appliances. What a great feeling! The final outside soffits are going in today. After that is done, Danny will finish up the trim work and painting on his own, because Dan and I will be building our apartment inside the Barndo! Hopefully in the next two weeks they can begin welding steel and installing panels! We have elected to hire electricians and plumbers to do all of the initial work so that we can start living in the Barndo sooner and get out of Danny's backyard!

The big question will how the dogs will respond to living apart. Right  now, they sleep in separate houses, but play in the same yard, I don't know if our girls will come down to Danny's during the day, or if Agatha will come to our house, but I am pretty certain that they will find a way to be together!


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