Tag Archives: backhoe

What I Did Over My Christmas Break by Meg Brown

I feel like I am in elementary school again, writing an essay about my break. Its fun, I’m going to go with it. Thanks to Christmas and the New Year, I got some time off from my office job. Of course I spent my days off on the Ranch, “working”. It was glorious.

Kristen and Ryan mounted their horse, and moved cows for the first time - they are excellent help.

Kristen and Ryan mounted their horse, and moved cows for the first time – they are excellent help.

Two major events happened, the first is I got to move cows without my Dad. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. I was told to get a crew and move a herd of cows two fields over. I called Kristen and her husband, Ryan, and Shannon and Olive to come help. The cows knew what to do and were excited to have a new field to eat. I didn’t take any pictures of this happening because I was trying really hard to pay attention and not screw up (I didn’t!), but next time I will, I promise.

We all remember Olive right? She is my future 4-H member/cowhand in training.

We all remember Olive right? She is my future 4-H member/cowhand in training.

The second big thing was our barn fell down. Well I guess I should say, the rest of the barn fell down (part of it collapsed last year). Due to the nasty storms we had, our old metal barn collapsed. According to legend, this barn was old when we bought this Ranch in the 1940’s. It’s been hanging on by a thread for years, but needless to say, it was sad when the old thing finally died. I have lots and lots of memories of our old barns, they are where I played a lot as a child.

Dead barn.

Dead barn.

Another amazing thing happened when the barn collapsed. As I was helping my Dad tear down the barn, and try to start the clean-up process, I offered to get a crew of my friends together for a clean-up day. Normally my Parents say, thanks, but no thanks, when it comes to my buddies helping with projects like this, not this time. Dad said, ok, go ahead, get a crew.

My crew at work!

My crew at work!

My barn crew kicked butt! Brian Drake, Rene and her friend Forrest, Daniel and my Dad’s friend Mike all came over and spent their New Year’s Day working hard! My Mom cooked a ham and made a pecan pie for us for lunch. We got so much done!

My Dad had so much fun with my friends, he made me start driving the backhoe to the lumber pile so he could hang out and visit!

My Dad had so much fun with my friends, he made me start driving the backhoe to the lumber pile so he could hang out and visit!

My treasures from the barn. Old pipe. I'm turning it into planters for my yarden.

My treasures from the barn. Old pipe. I’m turning it into planter for my yarden.


My old cowdog Nikki spent all my vacation with me. She is too old to jump up onto the backhoe, so I picked her up and put her in the seat with me. She was so happy to be with me! It kinda made me cry.

My old cowdog Nikki spent all my vacation with me. She is too old to jump up onto the backhoe, so I picked her up and put her in the seat with me. She was so happy to be with me! It kinda made me cry.

We got about half the barn cleaned up in one day. It felt good.

We got about half the barn cleaned up in one day. It felt good.

I had a wonderful vacation. Working on the ranch really makes me appreciate my office job and working my office job really makes me appreciate the ranch. It was great to introduce my Dad to some of my friends – and have him really enjoy them. But most of all I really like having my friends out – often they get to experience something they’ve never done before, like move a herd of cattle or drive a tractor, and to me that experience is priceless.

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, History, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized

Update: Piggies

I’ve realized it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a pig update. I’m sorry!!!! Let me fill you in.
We are still having problems with Harry Houdini pig, oops, I mean Char. When Char was a wee piglet he taught himself to escape the pig pen. He’d go hang out with my Dad and get treats. It was funny and cute to me for a long time until I started tripping in his holes. And then Dad started tripping in his holes. Now we are trying to fix this problem.

Char has been escaping his pen daily. I thought it was funny until I was taking a plate of prime rib home and tripped in one of his rooting holes. The prime rib was ok, but the au jus was a goner.

This is what Char escaping his pen looks like. I thought it was funny until I was taking a plate of prime rib home at night and tripped in one of his rooting holes. The prime rib was ok, but the au jus was a goner. If you know me, you know how serious I am about my au jus.

Dad got into his pole collection for us....

Dad got into his pole collection for us….

And added those pole around the bottom of the pen so Char couldn't slip under the fence.

And added those poles around the bottom of the pen so Char couldn’t slip under the fence.

This is what a sad pig looks like when he figures out he can't escape!

This is what a sad pig looks like when he figures out he can’t escape!

We have cotinued cooking slop for the pigs, I'm really getting it down!

We have continued cooking slop for the pigs, I’m really getting it down!

Sam from the Cardinal Rules blog had the brilliant idea of putting a lid on the slop as it cooks, therefore cutting my cooking time!

Sam from the Cardinal Rules blog had the brilliant idea of putting a lid on the slop as it cooks, therefore cutting my cooking time!

I'm saving seeds from the pumpkins and plan on planting them every where on both ranches! (Don't tell my Dad I plan on planting them on the edges of his hay fields!)

I’m saving seeds from the pumpkins and plan on planting them everywhere on both ranches, for next year’s pigs! (Don’t tell my Dad I plan on planting them on the edges of his hay fields!)

I had one of my twitter friends tell me about a study they did where they gave pigs beer to see if it would lower their stress levels. Pigs like beer!

I had one of my twitter friends tell me about a study they did where they gave pigs beer to see if it would lower their stress levels. Pigs like beer!

Like I mentioned before, I was able to get these pigs by promising that I would pay for and take care of everything and my parents would get a freezer full of pork out of the deal. Well, it hasn’t really worked out like that. It’s now adult 4-H/Parent’s having fun. They drove to Orland to buy us cheaper/better slop cooking materials. So nice of them!

Like I mentioned before, I was able to get these pigs by promising that I would pay for and take care of everything and my parents would get a freezer full of pork out of the deal. Well, it hasn’t really worked out like that. It’s now adult 4-H/Parent’s having fun. They drove to Orland to buy us cheaper/better slop cooking materials. So nice of them!

And the last pig pen improvement is a concrete feeding station!!!  My parents surprised me when I got home from work - isn't it awesome!?

And the last pig pen improvement is a concrete feeding station!!! My parents surprised me when I got home from work – isn’t it awesome!?

Happy pigs!

Happy pigs!

And there you have our latest pig update. They are fat and happy, and getting more so everyday!

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Uncategorized