Monthly Archives: October 2011

Giveway: Meg Made Scarf

I love fall. Hoodies, scarves and boots are wardrobe staples in my world. In fact, I had my Grandma teach me how to crochet in high school because I loved scarves so much, but was too cheap/poor to buy them. It’s actually been one of those skills that have come in pretty handy. I found crocheting is a very soothing hobby, and since half the time I’m wound tighter than a two dollar watch, I became a very prolific scarf maker.


In college, I would start crocheting around the beginning of finals. By the time finals were over I’d usually have about 20 scarves made. I would then sell them at holiday craft shows, where my Mom sold her soap. It was a quick way to make some beer money for vacation!

My jobs have been pretty stressful lately, so I picked up the crocheting hook again. Since it is fall, I think a Meg made scarf would be the perfect giveaway!


You know the drill. Leave me a comment and next Friday I will use to pick a winner!

Good luck!



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Wordless Wednesday: Is Repurposing Your Hot Tub into a Water Trough Sustainable or Trashy?



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Meg Brown – Official Farm Bureau Member

I received something in the mail this weekend that made me feel a lot better about life. This was huge to me and it means so, so much to this girl. I got an official letter from the executive offices of the Farm Bureau giving me a free one year membership. It was a breath of fresh air after my Summer of Ag Drama.

Most of my followers remember the drama with my blog this past July. To be honest, it hurt my feelings. It felt like the staff in the executive offices in Sacramento (NOT the executive Farm Bureau staff) had it in for me. I still don’t understand why I got singled out for being open and honest about my ranch. I’m sure if they had a multi-generational cattle ranch in their families they would want to share it too.

I dedicate a large amount of my time blogging, writing letters to editors, and sharing my ranch so the 98% of our population not directly involved with production ag can see how the other 2% live, if they so choose. I don’t get paid to share, I figure it is in my best interest to answer any questions the public has; after all it is my way of life we are talking about.

Often I get frustrated or hurt feelings because of my “agvocating” efforts. Because ag is more than a job to me, people often don’t understand how personally I take it. I think that is part of the reason my blog drama this past summer hurt me so deeply – it was an internal attack from people I thought should understand what it is like to carry on a legacy. On that same note, that is why this letter and gesture means so much to me. It is an incredible feeling to get some recognition and I am excited and honored to be a part of this group. Thank you Farm Bureau, more specifically Mr. Jamie Johansson and the Butte County Farm Bureau.


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John was my great, great, great grandfather. I think we would have gotten along fabulously. I love that he ran for a local office, something I plan on doing. I love that he was enterprising, and he started a meat company! Now I know where I get it! JOHN H. LUCAS. – A self-made native son who, thought those qualities so often predominatingly characteristic of the California pioneer, has been remarkable successful, especially as one of the wide-awake partners in the Chico Meat Company, and who is fortunate in having, in his talented wife, an able helpmeet who has contributed much to his attainments, is John H. Lucas, who was born on the Humboldt ridge, fourteen miles east of Chico.  His father was Paul Lucas, a native of St. Louis, who crossed the plains to California in 1849, and followed mining in different parts of the state.  In 1852, he returned to Missouri, and once more crossed the plains to reach the Pacific.  This was in 1853, and he drove his ox-teams into Chico Canyon.  There he went into the stock business, and soon made his brand, 24, well known and duly respected.  He bought land fourteen miles out, and started butchering on his own place; supplying his products to saw mills and mining camps where a good deal of meat was required, and those needing it and were willing and able to pay well for what they got.  He died on April 12, 1879. The wife of Paul Lucas was Ellen Callahan before her marriage, and she was a native of Ireland, who came to California by way of Panama in the early sixties.  She now resides on the ranch, and with her is the youngest living son.  Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Lucas, although only four have thus far survived.  The second oldest is Charles F., now at Laredo, Tex.; the next is Catherine, Mrs. R. L. Cameron, of Chico Vecino; and George W. who lives on the home ranch. The eldest of the children and born June 6, 1866, J.H. Lucas was brought up on the Lucas ranch, and rode the range from a lad.  He attended the public school, and when he had completed all the courses there, and his father had died which he was only thirteen, he remained with his mother and accepted the responsibility of looking after things. He took up stock and hay-raising with the aid of his mother’s capital, which amounted to some two thousand dollars; he helped her all he could until 1896. During this time he was married in Chico on April 12, 1889, to Miss Helen May Wilson, a native of Missouri, who came to California with her parents when she was five years old.  She was the daughter of James H. and Julia A. (Goodelle) Wilson, the latter a native of New York State, as was her husband, both having moved to Illinois, where they were married, when they were young.  Her father was in an Illinois regiment in the Civil War.  He married and moved to Missouri.  Then he came to California and settled in Ventura County, and there he ran a large dairy.  In 1886, he located in Butte County, on the Forest ranch, and at Chico he died, generally honored and a much respected member of the G. A. R.  Mrs. Wilson resides in Chico, the mother of nine children, seven of whom grew up. After his marriage Mr. Lucas continued at home until 1896, when he located on a ranch on the Humboldt ridge, buying the farm area and going for cattle-raising and butchering.  In February, 1906, while he continued the management of the ranch and stock, he located at Chico and bought an interest in the Cramer Meat Packing Company.  He ran a market at Second Street, between Main and Broadway, and thus continued for about fifteen months, when he bought the title and changed the name and managed the business alone. Later he took Ira R. Morrison as a partner and the firm was known as Lucas and Morrison, but after five years he bought him out and then tried the management awhile himself.  His next partner was K. D. Crowder, and for eighteen months the firm was Lucas and Crowder, but after that time they sold out the market to Lynch and Snow, and Mr. Lucas worked for the firm for three months and then bought an interest in it again.  It was now known as the Chico Meat Company, and he has charge of the buying and slaughtering.  He still attends to these departments of the trade, while he runs his stock-ranch independent of the company.  About 1896, when he acquired the ranch—about two thousand five hundred acres between Big and Little Chico creeks—he erected a house and lived there until moving into Chico.  Some of this acreage he devotes to grain and some to stock-raising, and here he has twelve acres of prunes. A Democrat in national politics, and a public-spirited citizen, Mr. Lucas was elected, in 1915, city trustee, to serve as the representative from the second ward for a period of four years.  He was chairman of the finance committee, and his experience and enterprising spirit have proven of much service to the community.  He was also school trustee for the Chico Canyon district, which he helped establish. Twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Lucas; Hazel, Mrs. S. F. Brown, who lives at Susanville; Ella, Mrs. H. Cummings, is her neighbor; Nellie is Mrs. J. H. Smith, of Chico Vecino; John Henry, Jr. was on the home ranch until enlisted for service and is with the United States Expeditionary forces in France; Alice Julia and May are in high school; Paul James, Ernest B. and Carrie Pearl are on the home ranch; and there are Charles, Arthur and Helen.  This interesting family participates to the customary extent in the social life of the community.  Mr. Lucas is a member of the B. P. O. E., Woodmen of the World, the Independent Order of Foresters and Chico Parlor, No. 21, N. S. G. W. Transcribed by Joyce & David Rugeroni. Source: “History of Butte County, Cal.,” by George C. Mansfield, Pages 873-874, Historic Record Co, Los Angeles, CA, 1918.

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The Parade!

One of the many highlights of growing up in a small town is The Parade. In my case it was the 4th of July Parade in Taylorsville, California. I was in The Parade every year, with an elaborate costume and an old ranch horse. I think that year’s theme was Best Dressed Cowgirl. My Mom dedicated hours and hours to making my costumes, I still have the blue ribbons to prove it!

This particular year was a great one, I had a broken arm (NEVER buy your kid a pony, they are mean little shits). I had to get a new cast for The Parade because I let the ranch dogs chew my first cast off (it was itchy!). I remember being annoyed that I had to use a saddle too (notice my feet are not in the stirrups?). I had gone the whole summer not using a saddle because I had only one arm. It was just too hard for four year old, one armed Megan to saddle a horse, so I just went bareback.

I have such wonderful memories of my childhood. It was filled with horses, fishing, and having so much fun. I wish all children had it so good.

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Wordless Wednesday: A Thousand Words

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 Ms. Lucas is my third great grandmother. I’ve been researching my family’s history, and have become utterly fascinated by it.  It’s been a joy learning about the women in my family and how they were the ones that again and again, ran the Ranch until the next generation could take over. I hope that I am able to continue the tradition!

MRS. ELLEN LUCAS.–A pioneer of Butte County, Mrs. Ellen Lucas has resided on her present ranch in Big Chico Canyon since 1865.  Grandma Lucas, as she is familiarly known by everyone, is much esteemed and respected by all who know her, for her amiability and strong personality make her a favorite with all.  She was born in County Cork, Ireland, December 25, 1839, the daughter of John and Margaret (Sullivan) O’Callahan, farmer folk near the city of Cork.  The mother died when Ellen was only seven years of age.  The father migrated to New York City, where he married a second time; and there he spent his last days.

      Ellen O’Callahan was the oldest of four children born of the first union and the only one that grew to maturity.  She was reared in her native land until fourteen years of age, when she came to New York City.  She resided with her father until his death, when with her stepmother she removed to Boston.  After a residence of four years there, however, she returned to New York.  In 1865 she made the journey to San Francisco via the Isthmus.  From San Francisco she then came on to Chico, where she met Paul Lucas, a meeting which resulted in their marriage on June 13, 1865.  Paul Lucas was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, December 25, 1829.  Coming when a lad with his parents to St. Louis, Mo., he was there reared and educated in the public schools.  He crossed the plains in the pioneer days of the gold rush, coming overland with ox teams.  After mining for a time in Butte County, he began to raise cattle, locating a ranch in Big Chico Canyon, to which he brought his bride; and there, by perseverance, energy, and hard work, they accumulated a competency.  As they prospered they added to their holdings until they had acquired a ranch of about a thousand acres, where they pastured their cattle, using the brand 24 on the left hip.  However, Mr. Lucas was not permitted long to enjoy the fruits of his labors, for he passed to the great beyond on April 3, 1880.  Mrs. Lucas was left with six children, whom she reared and educated and who became creditable and honorable citizens.  John L. is a prominent cattle man, and is a member of the board of trustees of Chico.  Charles is a mining man, with the Guggesheims in Mexico.  George is a stockman, and resides with and assists his mother in her ranching and stock business.  Caty Florence, the wife of Robert Cameron, lives in Chico.  Mary Elizabeth, who was the wife of Robert Nicholson, and Manie both passed away in Chico. After her husband died, Mrs. Lucas kept the family together and, with the assistance of the older children, continued raising cattle, still using the 24 brand.  Besides the ranch in Big Chico Canyon, she owns a ranch at Butte Meadows where she ranges the cattle during the summer time.  There she has built a comfortable home, and each summer she enjoys about six months there, in the delightful mountain climate.  One of her chief pleasures is trout-fishing in Big Butte Creek, which flows right by her residence.  She greatly enjoys the sport, in which she is an adept and excels.  Mrs. Lucas is very appreciative of California and its great possibilities, and is very optimistic for the state’s future greatness.  A Catholic in religion, Mrs. Lucas is a noble Christian woman, of high principles and strict integrity of purpose.

Transcribed by Joyce Rugeroni.Source: “History of Butte County, Cal.,” by George C. Mansfield, Pages 1074-1075, Historic Record Co, Los Angeles, CA, 1918.


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Wordless Wednesday: Jerky Cow

The cow my Parents gave me for my 30th birthday. Of course I’m having made into jerky and ground beef.


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Wordless Wednesday: Fall


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