Tag Archives: Chico

Favorite Things 2016 – A Gift Guide

Oh, yes, friends. It is that time of the year again! Time of a list of stuff I love, aka The Aghag’s gift guide for difficult people. Now I have this set up where all you have to do is click on the picture and it should take you to the corresponding shop. These are all products I use and love and I am not being paid to say that!

My 11 Favorite Things of 2016

  • First on my list is a Traeger grill. Look at it as an investment. A glorious investment in your mouth’s happiness. Your life will be better for this purchase. I use mine weekly, everything from smoking to grilling to just sticking my face in it and taking a big whiff. Yes, they are pricey but quality costs! And they make smoking more of a fun activity then an all day, make sure your fire is right, it’s not right, no, wait, it’s right, chore.
Really, they are awesome.

Really, they are awesome.

  • As I keep repeating, I went to the South a lot this year. I loved it. I fell in love with good BBQ. It changed me. So if you are gonna pull that trigger and get a Traeger, might as well get some bomb-ass seasoning! Enter: Dreamland. They are right, “ain’t nothing like ’em nowhere!’. Sadly I only have a few more uses of my BBQ seasoning left. I’m deeply afraid of getting on that website to order more. I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up with a whole bunch of ribs and a nana puddin’ getting delivered.
Sigh..... I would be a very happy camper if I got to go back again.

Sigh….. I would be a very happy camper if I got to go back again.

  • The Classy Trailer and I have been friends on Facebook for years. She thoughtfully sent me a beautiful memorial necklace a few years ago when my loyal cowdog of 16 years died. It was such a meaningful gesture to me. Anyway this year she sent me an awesome pig necklace! I have a collection of agriculture themed jewelry. It’s a great conversation starter when I am out doing the Megan Aghag show. The Classy Trailer has great handmade gifts for your agriculture/animal enthusiast in your life!
TheClassyTrailer's pig!

TheClassyTrailer’s pig!

  • I’ve been following Alyson Thomas for years now. I stumbled across her on twitter when she was asking butchers about cuts of meat. Her art – Drywell Art is my jam. Food and booze. I have several of her meat themed pieces. I especially love her pig work! I love to give her art out as gifts to my foodie friends. Plus I got to meet her in real life at the Renegade Craft Fair, and she was super cool!
Support art!

Support art!

  • Years ago I went to the Renegade Craft Fair in San Fransisco. It was like Etsy came to life. It was lots of fun and I picked up some great Christmas gifts for both myself and my family. My favorite thing is a feed bag purse I purchased from Selina Vaughan. I loved them so much I bought two! One for me and one for my Mom. We both used them for years and years. I use mine every time I go to an agriculture conference and always get tons of compliments.
Check her stuff out, so cute!

Check her stuff out, so cute!

  • Big things happen this year. I met my cooking idol, Alton Brown. Good Eats was a popular show when I was in college and I watched it regularly. I love how Alton uses a science based approach to explain the why’s and how’s of cooking. That tickles my fancy. When I saw he was going to be signing his new cookbook in California, I scheduled a day off, borrowed my Mom’s car (driving a truck in the city is a big cup of no fun) and went to meet him! And you know what? It was everything I thought it would be. He was warm and charming and he is still my celebrity crush. Aside from all of that, this is a great cookbook. Everything I’ve made has been amazing. Totally a great gift for your favorite Foodie.
This was one of my top 2016 moments.

This was one of my top 2016 moments.

Favorite cookbook right now!

Favorite cookbook right now!

  • I am a picky little thing when it comes to water bottles. I don’t like it when my water gets warm. I don’t like it when I can taste metal. I don’t like it when the part I put my lips on is exposed to “the outside”. I also hate using plastic water bottle once, then throwing them away (we actually recycle, but still!). But since I am outside so much during the summer I do need water with me or I shrivel all up. And that’s simply no fun at all. Swell is my favorite water bottle of all time. It keeps things cold, or hot for way longer than it takes me to drink it. The cap covers where I put my mouth so I have no fear of putting my lips in cow poo! And it doesn’t make the liquid taste like metal. Perfect gift for your favorite ranchster.
  • Speaking of water…..I’m bringing this one back from last year because I still love it. Once you go bidet you can’t go back. This bidet attaches right onto your toilet and is amazing. I installed it myself in about 10 minutes and never looked back.
Don't question me. Just buy it.

Don’t question me. Just buy it.

  • My summer was rough. I worked hard. I drove a lot. I dealt with some deep shit, both literally and figuratively. By the time October rolled around, my mantra was “I worked damn hard, if I want something, I earned it, damn it”. This ring was one of those things I wanted. It matched my beautiful bag I got for my birthday. A local artist made it. And it was shiny! I like shiny things! Unfortunately, J Daily doesn’t seem to have an Esty store. But she does have an email address jdailydesign@yahoo.com. She had many beautiful and unique rings, earrings, necklaces – shoot her an email, check out her stuff, you won’t be sorry!
J Dailey Design

J Dailey Design

  • If you didn’t notice this was an election year. While post of the posts on social media were pretty horrible; but there was one shiny, hilarious light! The Liberal Redneck and the WellRED Comedy Tour. Trae is funny. His videos talk about very serious issues in a funny way. I like that. But hey, don’t believe me check one out. After watching his videos I really wanted to see him perform, and turns out, he was playing about a hour away from me! I saw the show, and loved it! All three guys were hilarious! And they hung out after their show and met their fans! So cool! Plus Trae follows me on Twitter now.  I got their book after the I saw the show, and again, really enjoyed it. It’d be a great gift for your liberal and not so liberal friends!
I made the WellRED Comedy guys laugh.

I made the WellRED Comedy guys laugh.

The Liberal Redneck Manifesto

The Liberal Redneck Manifesto

  • Booze is always a popular gift during the Holidays. I mean it’s one of the few things you can get someone who has everything! And this particular alcohol is extra good. Lassen Cider is a new Chico, Ca business. He makes a mean cider from local, heirloom apples the traditional way. He gives the leftover apple pulp to my pigs and cattle, so he is being extra sustainable. I’ve had all three ciders he has available right now, and I must say, I am a fan. Unfortunately, you can only this cider is you are a Northern California native. Hunt some down, you won’t be mad about it!
Lassen Cider

Lassen Cider

There you go friends. Did I miss anything? What tickled your fancy this year? Care to share? Leave me a comment and hopefully I can feature it next year!

2 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, arts & crafts, food, Humor, Know a California Farmer, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Uncategorized

Cold Blue Mountain: NPR, Tiny Desk and World Domination

Cold Blue Mountain by Michelle Camy

Cold Blue Mountain by Michelle Camy

Do you remember last summer when I posted the blog about my friends in the band Cold Blue Mountain? When they made a video and let me cook AND be in it?

So.much.fun. Beef, beer and bikinis!

So.much.fun. Beef, beer and bikinis!

They did it again! You see NPR is having a contest – the winner gets to play in the NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series, so CBM took the plunge and entered! Guess what?

NPR even tweeted at Cold Blue Mountain, it was pretty exciting.

NPR even tweeted at Cold Blue Mountain, it was pretty exciting.

They were the first metal entry and actually made it on NPR’s music page! Talk about fame! I mean, I know I am super bias, but I think they should win (if they do win, I am so leaving the ranch to go with them I can watch! (they don’t know that yet, so shhhhhhh)).

The Tiny Desk video:

Even if they don’t win, they are still doing some pretty exciting stuff! They are about to embark on huge tour! They are leaving the safe and warm embrace of Chico, California to share their musical talents with most of the United States. I am so excited for them, but kinda bummed that they are going to be gone so long! I’m going to be lonely.

If you get the chance, I recommend you catch a show! Or at least go hang out with them. Despite this being pretty heavy screaming music, these are pretty much some of the nicest guys ever. Plus I worry about them and will need updates to make sure they are doing well, washing their socks, underwear and beards.

Leave a Comment

Filed under arts & crafts, Field Trip, Media, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Video

Wordless Wednesday: Sam Brown’s Cattle in Upper Bidwell Park Jan 11, 1935

Harry Lutz Driving Cattle in Bidwell Park Jan 11, 1935

 

S. Brown's cattle in Upper Bidwell Park Jan 11 1935

2 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, Beef, family, History, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Throwback Thursday, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

Cold Blue Mountain: The Strongest Will

Chico is one of those little towns with a pretty awesome art’s scene. We have music, theater, galleries, famous people – there is a thriving little culture here. Unfortunately, despite my fondest wishes and feeble tries, it is not a culture I am apart of. My talents are more agricultural based. However, I think this has worked to most of our advantages. I often supply various food items for various shows. In fact, I got to cook for this video!

Seriously, you wish you were here.

Seriously, you wish you were here.

My goals for this summer was to swim and fish – regularly. I’ve swam twice and I guess you can say I fished when I used a bucket to scoop out a fish when I was irrigating (I released it back into the creek). It was a busy summer on the Ranch.  But when I heard Cold Blue Mountain was filming a video, I demanded a day off from the cows so I could cook for this video! Plus I knew I could swim. In chlorine. Perfect.

Pay no attention to my rancher's tan. Pay attention to the BEEF!

Pay no attention to my rancher’s tan. Pay attention to the BEEF!

In addition to Brown Ranch Beef, I made potato salad and tomato, onion and cucumber salad from our garden veggies! I also got to bust out some pickles and peppers I canned, and some jam and jelly. I simply love to cook for a crowd. It’s a good challenge. It ended up being a really awesome day! I got to hang out with fun, artistic people, I got to cook and swim!

My favorite picture from the day.

My favorite picture from the day.

Cold Blue Mountain is yet another band Daniel Taylor is a member of, (as you recall he’s posted here before). This band is a whisper more, um…..heavy….than I am used to, which is funny to me because these are some of the nicest, most sensitive dudes I know! Please enjoy this video and thank you, CBM, for letting me be apart of it!

Seriously, they sent handmade thank you cards.

Seriously nicest metal band I know, they sent handmade thank you cards.

4 Comments

Filed under arts & crafts, Field Trip, food, Humor, Media, photos, Ranch life, Video

Payday

How often do you get a paycheck from your job? Once a month? Every two weeks? Once a year?

Dogs, helping with the cattle.

Dogs, helping with the cattle.

For many of us in agriculture it is normal to receive one or two paydays a year. That is it. We must budget those few paydays to last, and with all the unknown variables that are apt to happen in agriculture, that can  be a huge challenge. For us, payday is when we sell this year’s crop of animals or harvest. For farmers and ranchers that specialize in one product, like beef cattle, we work all year for this one day.

Where our cattle live in the winter.

Where our cattle live in the winter.

We sold this year’s calf crop today. As I was sitting at the auction, I realized that not many people outside of beef production, get the chance to experience what I experienced today. I want to show you what a cattle sale looks like.

What an average animal sale looks like.

What an average animal sale looks like.

But first I want to talk about what it took for us to get to this point. This calf crop is the result of almost two years of work. From planning the pregnancies of our Mama cows, to the birth and growth of the calves themselves.

Look at this little cowgirl.

Look at this little cowgirl.

The calves we sold today were almost a year old. My family has spent every day since before their conception with this herd. We selected the bulls we felt would best improve our herd,  we watched as the Mama cow’s bellies grew, we helped them give birth, we spent countless hours watching and protecting them. If you want to know more about the process, please look through the Beef archives to the right of this post.

This is when we de-wormed and vaccinated our babies.

This is when we de-wormed and vaccinated our babies.

When we watch the sale of these calves a whole range of emotions course through us. Part of you wants to grieve for the loss of these animals that you have spent so much time with, becoming attached happens regardless. Part of you feels pleasure, watching these beautiful animals walk around ring. Then you feel thankfulness because you have successfully brought them to market. Often feeling incredibly proud is yet another emotion, the knowledge that I am helping to feed my country is amazing.

This is how we ship our cattle, in huge cattle trucks. The bottom is what they look like inside.

This is how we ship our cattle, in huge cattle trucks. The bottom is what they look like inside.

Needless to the blend of emotions causes a lot of stress, anxiety, but eventually relief and in a good year, joy.

My little cousin was giving me a back rub to help with the stress of selling our cattle today. It was a nice treat.

My little cousin was giving me a back rub to help with the stress of selling our cattle today. It was a nice treat.

Ok, now on to the auction part. If the past we’ve sold our cattle multiple different ways. From video sales in years past to a more traditional way of literally taking them to market.

This is how we sold our cattle today, it is the traditional way of trucking your cattle to market:

This is how we’ve sold our cattle in the past, a video sale:

Each method has it’s pro’s and con’s, but we’ve been very happy with both. Hopefully, this summer I can attend a larger video sale and go more in depth about it for this blog.

Our family is grateful for today to be over. Our emotions have been all over the map and we will talk about nothing else amongst ourselves for the next few days. However, we are thankful that we can continue to do what we love and look forward to many more generations of ranching.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, Beef, family, Know a California Farmer, meat, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Video

Cold Blue Mountain: Winter 2014 Tour

One of my most favoritist people in the whole wide world is in this band (hint, coffee, piano, beard, super talented). Actually, if you really wanna get down to it, everyone in this band is kinda amazing, very nice and super talented. Guess what? They are going on tour so if you are into nice people and angry music, you should see them! I secretly want to see the Seattle show and if I wasn’t such a broke-ass, I’d book a flight and go. If you live there, you should go and tell me all about it. And  a fun fact for you? You know that show, The Amazing Race? Yeah, Brandon (the lead singer) was on it last season (Team Beard!). Anyway check them out if you can, you’ll be glad you did.

photo-12

Leave a Comment

Filed under arts & crafts, Field Trip, Humor, Media, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized

Deer Hunting 2013

As most of you know I drew a deer tag this year. It’s been a long time since I have had the urge to hunt, around 6 years. After years and years of having the local dear population gorge themselves on my garden, I’ve had enough. I figured, it’s time they fed me for a change!

For the record hunting isn’t a huge passion of mine. It’s generally early, cold, I have to pee outside and there is no where to wash my hands, a little too much like camping. This year was different, I had a really, really good time. It was cold and stuff, but it was worth it!

I wanted to share some pictures from the few days I spent hunting. When I thought about it, many people in the general population never gets to see this. So, I’m sharing.

Opening day it raining, it was freezing because I did not dress for that, but I powered through and took some neat pictures.

Opening day and it’s raining, I’m freezing because I did not dress for that, but I powered through and took some neat pictures.

My Dad (pictured), loves to hunt. It's his happy place. I started to hunt because it was a way for me to bond with him.

My Dad (pictured), loves to hunt. It’s his happy place. I started to hunt because it was a way for me to bond with him.

Watching dawn break over the hills above Chico was stunning. And cold.

Watching dawn break over the hills above Chico was stunning. And cold.

Clouds over a canyon. panoramic

Clouds over a canyon. panoramic

My Uncle had to sit in between my cousin and I because apparently "we were talking too much".

My Uncle had to sit in between my cousin and I because apparently “we were talking too much”. Also: notice the RAIN?

The first day ended with no luck. Mainly just doe's and a few fawns. Can you see them?

The first day ended with no luck. Mainly just doe’s and a few fawns. Can you see them?

The second day I went was just my Dad and I. My Dad and I haven’t had a Daddy/Daughter hunt in years. I think I can only remember once, actually. So it was a lot of fun, to spend a day together on the ranch. Now this particular ranch I don’t know that well. I didn’t grow up on it, I didn’t spend much time on it because of my Dad’s insane interesting family. Things have calmed down so I now feel safe to be there. The day quickly turned into sight seeing and story telling, as we realized the deer population was just not there. My Dad mentioned several times to “put that in the blog”, referring to some picture or story.

My Dad told me a story about how he missed a week of high school to build this fence (it's in pure rock and very steep). His PE teacher was gonna flunk him - my dad's shop teacher saved his butt. My Dad pointed out to the PE teacher that he was being physical by building this fence. The PE teacher is wasn't just about being physical, it was about "getting along with your fellow man". The shop teacher reminded the PE teacher about my Dad's infamous older brothers. Dad passed.

My Dad told me a story about how he missed a week of high school to build this fence (it’s in pure rock and very steep). His PE teacher was gonna flunk him – my Dad’s shop teacher saved his butt. My Dad pointed out to the PE teacher that he was being physical by building this fence. The PE teacher said it wasn’t just about being physical, it was about “getting along with your fellow man”. The shop teacher reminded the PE teacher about my Dad’s infamous older brothers. Dad passed.

It's like a cairn, but natural! Isn't it neat!?

It’s like a cairn, but natural! Isn’t it neat!?

One of my favorite places on the ranch is here. It's Indian grinding bowls built into the creek bed.

One of my favorite places on the ranch is here. It’s Indian grinding bowls built into the creek bed.

My Dad and Uncle (the one that is featured in this blog) took all of my cousins and I here when we were little. It was a glorious day of my childhood I remember well.

My Dad and Uncle (the one that is featured in this blog) took all of my cousins and I here when we were little. It was a glorious day of my childhood I remember well.

Part of the ranch has these beautiful rock walls built on it. They are impressive. I cannot imagine how hard and heavy it would have been to build.

Part of the ranch has these beautiful rock walls built on it. They are impressive. I cannot imagine how hard and heavy it would have been to build.

This was my favorite part of the rock walls, it's a little tunnel for a creek!

This was my favorite part of the rock walls, it’s a little tunnel for a creek!

Seriously, you guys, look at this!

Seriously, you guys, look at this!

A super neat tree. My Dad happens to mention it would be a great place for bridal pictures. Subtle, Dad, subtle.

A super neat tree. My Dad happened to mention it would be a great place for bridal pictures. Subtle, Dad, subtle.

Again, we saw no legal bucks. Just doe's, see?

Again, we saw no legal bucks. Just doe’s, see?

This is a spring where the Native American's carved  a drinking basin (sorry for the crappy picture).

This is a spring where the Native American’s carved a drinking basin (sorry for the crappy picture).

The Sutter Butte from the ranch.

The Sutter Butte from the ranch.

The other side of the fence is Upper Bidwell Park and directly ahead, the City of Chico.

The other side of the fence is Upper Bidwell Park and directly ahead, the City of Chico.

Finally at 7:00 AM on Saturday morning (the THIRD morning), I spotted a little buck, and by 7:01, I had shot him through the chest. My Dad and Uncle said I almost missed. I say I planned it like that so I wouldn’t waste any meat because I never would have heard the end of it. I maintain that a childhood filled with duck hunter on Nintendo prepared me to be a very, very good shot. Plus part of hunting is stick poking. If you screw up, or miss you hear about it FOR YEARS. I make an effort to screw up as little as possible.

YAY! After years of supplying the local deer population with tomatoes and other fresh veggies, they are supply me with meat! Plus it was a lot of fun to spend time with my family, learn about the ranch and take some neat pictures share.

YAY! After years of supplying the local deer population with tomatoes and other fresh veggies, they are supplying me with meat! Plus it was a lot of fun to spend time with my family, learn about the ranch and take some neat pictures to share.

I’m going to up to cut and wrap by buck tomorrow. I plan on showing that and the field dressing of my buck in the next blog. Stayed tuned and leave me questions if there is anything you want to know. Thank you for looking!

5 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, family, Field Trip, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: What Chico Looks Like From Our Ranch

20130924-202857.jpg

2 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Sunrise In the Valley

20130424-093402.jpg

1 Comment

Filed under Ag, agriculture, Beef, photos, Ranch life, Wordless Wednesday

Sincerely Yours, Herman H. Harvey Battery D.18th Field Artillery

Hi. Remember that blog post where I said I had a bunch of old pictures from my Dad’s side and my friend Erin was helping me figure stuff out? Yeah, well she did it again. I found this picture of a soldier amongst the old photos, it actually had writing and a name on it! I sent it to Erin and she ran with it. Enjoy, I certain did.

Another picture found in my collection. This one had some writing on it.

Herman Harrison Harvey.

This is the information Erin had:
I recognized the wool texture and hat shape in the photograph as a uniform from the U.S. Army from circa World War I. Searching online for uniform examples, I found the following link which shows the buttons, coat, and hat that match the photo: http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~worldwarone/WWI/Uniforms/index.html. If the photo is from circa World War I, I made the assumption that Herman Harvey was born in approximately 1890-1900 because he appears very young in the photo, but old enough to enlist. Another assumption that I made was that Herman lived in or around the Chico area to know the Lucas family well enough that they ended up with the photo.”

This is what Erin found out:

Herman Harrison Harvey was born in Oakland, Douglas County, Oregon on June 2, 1892, to William Harvey and Minnie (nee Manning) Harvey. In the June 12, 1900 Federal Census, the Harvey family was living in Roseburg, Douglas County, Oregon. Herman had two sisters, Vesta and Lillian (also called Minnie), and a brother, George (also called Dewey). William Harvey was renting a farm at the time and engaged in farming, though no particular crop was specified.
By about 1905, the family had moved to California and in the May 23, 1910 Federal Census, the Harvey family was living on River Road in Chico, Butte County, California. William and Minnie had an additional son, Vern, and two more daughters, Goldie and Gladys, both of whom were born in California. In the 1912 and 1913 Chico City Directories, Herman’s sister Lillian is listed as a janitor at the River Road School. In the 1915 Chico City Directory, William and Minnie are listed as living on Laburnum, at the southwest corner of 10th Avenue.
Between 1915 and 1920, the Harvey family moved to the valley floor and in the January 8, 1920 Federal Census, the family is renting a rear house at 1716 F Street in Sacramento, Sacramento County, California. One daughter, Lillian is no longer listed (she may have married), and a niece to William and Minnie, Pearl Pearce, is living with the family. Herman’s occupation in this census is listed as Regular Army, while his father and brothers are engaged in farming. Herman most likely voluntarily enlisted in the Army prior to or at the onset of the United States’ involvement in World War I, as I was unable to find a World War I draft registration record for him. Further research would most likely shed more light on his Army service.
By 1930, Herman had moved out of his parents’ household, most likely at the end of his Army service. In the April 8, 1930 Federal Census, Herman is listed as boarding at 134 York Street, Vallejo, Solano County, California, and working as a pipe fitter at the Navy Yard. In the April 8, 1940 Federal Census, Herman is listed as a guest at the Hotel Bernard on Georgia Street, Vallejo, Solano County, California, and still working as a pipe fitter at the Navy Yard. He lists his residence as Sacramento, California, in 1935, possibly visiting his parents who lived in Sacramento.
On April 27, 1942, Herman registered for the draft for World War II. He was living at 317A Georgia Street, Vallejo, Solano County, California, and working at Shop 56-1640 at the Mare Island Ship Yard. He still had a trim figure at almost 50 years old, being only 198 pounds at ½ an inch shy of 6 feet tall.
Herman died on August 31, 1964, in Contra Costa County, California, and was buried in Section E, Lot 102, Grave 3 in the Odd Fellows Lawn Cemetery and Mausoleum in Sacramento, Sacramento County, California.

So, how did a Harvey photo turn up in the Lucas photo collection?

Well, I determined that both the Harvey and Manning families (remember, Herman’s mother was Minnie Manning) were unrelated to the Lucas family, so assumed that either the Harvey or Manning families were friends or acquaintances of the Lucas family. Working on a separate research project on a homesteading family that had lived in Chico Creek Canyon, I was aware of a possible connection through land sales, so followed that lead.
I was researching James Price, a homesteader who filed a homesteading claim in 1886 for property in Chico Creek Canyon. James and his wife, Lulu, had a daughter named Ethel, who married a Charles Manning. Researching the Manning family a bit further, I found Charles Manning was Minnie Manning’s younger brother. That meant that Ethel (nee Price) Manning was Herman Harvey’s aunt. After her father’s death, Ethel sold the property in Chico Creek Canyon to John Lucas in 1903. Though Ethel and Charles Manning moved back to Oregon within the next few years, Charles’ sister Minnie and her husband, William Harvey, remained with their family in the Chico area for another decade.

I love these old pictures so much. I love that I am able to learn more about these people almost more than 100 years after they lived. They have such interesting stories that I feel, need to be told and remembered. This is our heritage. These are our stories too.

1 Comment

Filed under Ag, agriculture, family, Guest Post, History, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized