Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Poetry, JJ style...

Although I have been known to write a poem or two in my time, this was a poetry exercise for my current English class at OCU and I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.  I have never written in this style before so it was an "exercise" for sure!

Corning, Iowa 1980something
Grandma K, Aunt Jaris and the J cousins
Driving 10 hours with the parents and my sisters
Cousin Joe taking us girls for ice cream and pin ball
Cinnamon rolls from the special bakery the size of my face
Riding the tractor, pretending to help, with crazy Uncle John
Crazy Uncle John hanging his teeth on his ears
Rolling hills of corn as far as the eye could see
The smell of fresh cut hay and cows in the early morning when I take my walk with Dad
Sleeping on the floor at Grandma K’s and listening for the lonely sound of the train
The blow of a train whistle still opens the floodgates of memories to 1980something.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Here WE GO!!!

I feel as though I fell off the face of the planet and have been vicariously plunked back on.  Although we only moved 2.2 miles up the road, I am playing a whole other ball game up here in the forest!  Our first visitor to the Double J Homestead (and Yes that is its official name) was a yearling mountain lion.  And how do I know it was a yearling?  Because it hissed at me from only four or five feet away so I got a VERY good look at it!!!
When I left you all last I was really up in the air about what I am going to do with my online presence and I think this post has answered many questions for all of us.  It is a final farewell to The Royal Ranch, but at the same time it is a new dawning of the era of the Double J; after all what has happened to my family in the last few months and how passionate I am about my field (natural agriculture, animal rescue and permaculture) there is really no way I can NOT continue to share the adventures of my world with those who will listen.
Transparency in the field of agriculture is something that I feel needs to be talked about more and that is where my Double J blog will head, along with the adventures of our homestead, of course.  When I wrote of being afraid that Wells Fargo had taken our home faster due to the fact that I have a business and fought the system; I am serious, and I have many reasons to think this.  As a matter of fact they are currently being investigated by the Attorney General for such actions and I plan to be a part of that suit (this link is just one example of many!).  But my point with all of this is that I am not going to be afraid, I am going to be a part of the solution instead.  I have always been a very careful business person and therefore should be a great example on the internet for people to follow, just sayin’.
 Okay, so now that we got that straightened out and you are all linked up for The Double J, let’s talk a bit about what has been going on in my world the last few weeks.  We kicked off this big move with an End of an Era sale for The Royal Ranch; and it was a huge success.  We had so much support from our community and friends it really was unbelievable!  I went from laughing to crying the entire four days; it really was an emotional roller coaster that I could not wait to get off of, but on the other hand I would not trade for the world, you know?
Then started the big push to get out of the house in time, by then it no longer felt like The Royal Ranch; we had sold all of the history pieces (except those we donated to the Park County Historical Society, which we are proud members) to one man right up the road which made us quite happy.  At the same time Hubs was building us a bedroom in the barn at The Double J; so the moving fell to the kids and I for a few days.  I know, a bit hard to follow, but even harder to organize!
So, we have a partially built master bedroom in the barn; that when finished will have the pot-belly stove that was in my parents’ house when I was growing up so I love the “warmth” this will bring to the room in more ways than one.  The cabin itself is teeny tiny, but we are making it all fit just fine.  I got my Grandma’s china cabinet in and that was a big deal for me, so you know the things that really matter when downsizing and you go with it…
After the visit from the mountain lion I knew I could not bring my beautiful sheep, Buttercup, up here; it broke my heart indeed.  She was the sheep I had been breeding for and over the last few weeks I had really been working with her to prepare her for this move and created a strong bond with her.  But, I was not going to let her be mountain lion bait either so I did the best thing for HER and called the gal I originally got my sheep from and she was more than ecstatic to have such a pretty black wooled girl.  She lost almost her whole herd of sheep last summer to a mountain lion herself and now only has two white girls left and keeps them locked up at night.  My Buttercup was a wonderful addition to her herd as she is BIG into felting, etc.  As a matter of fact, you can read about her in the Canyon Courier doing her wool art; her name is Julie Demaree.
That brings us to the llamas; we had the pen set up and everything.  But it is just not appropriate for my herd, what with a mountain lion passing through and the home of a lifetime waiting for them.  Yes that is right folks, my pack string is gone.  My God, I can’t even type that without bringing tears to my eyes.  But, let me continue, because they are in seventh heaven and I have done my job, so although I can’t even read what I type, I know I did the right thing.
A friend of ours recently bought a magnificent piece of property; and to keep it agricultural (zoning) needs animals on it.  He started asking me a few weeks ago, but obviously I had a few things on my mind.  Well, he kept offering and Hubs kept pushing, and before you know it my lifetime of work (just for melodramatic effect) was sitting in the driveway of Heaven….  They have 35 acres of lush green pasture to graze, a beautiful barn, actually multiple barns to choose from, and are doing great!
But the kids and I joke that I got out of the llama business against my will and I still got stuck with the crappy llamas, because I have two llamas that I would never place with anyone.  One is just plain crazy (overhandled as a youngster and has vision issues) and the other is on the verge of having Berserk Llama Syndrome, and yes, that is a real thing and very few of us in the Nation are trained to deal with these types of animals….
So, my dreams of agriculture/permaculture are, well they are still happening just a bit slower due to a move of the homestead, but you know me and I won’t let me keep things down.  Actually, my animals have simply amazed me with this move, again and again.   One day we went back to the other house to get one of the cats, and we got so worried that we couldn’t find him; we all called and called for him and then made one more load.  When we came home he was laying on the hanging clothes that we had laid on the bed to take with the next load!
My poultry have also proved themselves as “part of the family”.  As we were moving the homestead, a few animals at a time, it had affected their laying and the chickens had quit laying eggs at The Royal Ranch.  The morning that they, the chickens were here and we were all back together as a family they all got back to laying on their daily schedule.  The turks started laying eggs in their new home as well!  It was funny for me to see how deeply us being apart could affect even the lowest animal on the totem pole.
Well, that is enough for now, and my turks are calling for their breakfasts; so take a minute to hook up to The Double J, cuz I won’t be coming back to this blog anymore….  I can’t tell you all how much I have enjoyed this blog and you all….Oooops here come the tears again!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Catching up, December at a glance the GOOD, the bad, and the ugly.

Yeah, so it has been a long time since I wrote in this journal and I think it is sort of because I was taught if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  And you know, my back has been REALLY crappy, and our finances are in the crapper (what's new, eh, America?), my marriage has taken it's toll from all of the above and the deal that I was so hopeful would go through fell apart...

It was a secret out of respect for the party's privacy more or less, but three weeks since their visit have come and gone as of today, and I have not heard a word; so I am thinking that their privacy is no longer necessary.  The deal was, a family member of the original homesteader of our ranch, Charlie Royal, had always mentioned buying back the ranch.  When we started talking about our dreams of Double J, I contacted her and she flew out in hopes of making a deal on both The Royal Ranch and The Royal Roost.

While she was here she learned she could not afford The Royal Roost, bummer but we could move on because it was the easier of the 2 properties to sell.  Well, as I said , it has been 3 weeks and still no word so I think she is backing out of buying the ranch as well.  So, at least I no longer have to keep big secrets, and we were not in a hurry to sell the ranch until we build our new home anyway...

The good news is that The Royal Roost will be listed with Cabela's Trophy Properties by the end of the year, which should bring great people to see it.  And that is where the money is to get started with The Double J, so we really weren't depending on this one buyer, I just really wanted the ranch and it's subsidiaries to stay within the family; even though we aren't family I just considered us caretakers in between I guess.

So, no, this is not going to be a woe is me entry; although I truly deserve one.  I have 2, count that 2, wonderful sons home from college!  This Christmas will sort of be like having a young child I think with our Austin.  He has never experienced a Christmas like we do in our family.  And even my Grandpa remembered him when he did all of his Christmas envelopes; a tradition our kids have known since birth and I was quite worried he'd forget our new son, but of course not.

I also have my daughter and son that still live at home with me; my sidekick and my chauffeur.  I could not do it without them, literally.  My daughter helps me cook and clean and take care of the animals.  And, as for my driver, well who doesn't need a driver???  He smiles at me with his red headed grin and although he doesn't love to be touched too much he knows when I'm down and gives me these funny little love pats...

And as for that oldest redhead, he keeps me on my toes.  Yesterday we found an old letter to Santa in the Christmas notebook.  It said to make sure and not get his brother and sister a thing (not even coal) as they had been quite bad that year and that he would leave lima beans for the reindeer so that they could fart their way across America!!!!  (He knew that I was the one reading these letters by this time-stinker!)

Merry Christmas All.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Damn, listen to THIS!!!

I'm not much of a Grammy watcher, but when I read on Facebook that Sugarland and Lady Gaga had performed together I had to check it out; and boy did it move me!  So I wanted to make sure and have a copy of it here in my journal.  I love both of these gals; Gaga for her rebel behavior and business sense and I have always loved Sugarland's music, so crank up the speaker's and have a listen:

Sugarland and Lady Gaga at the Grammy's 2011!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A wonderful Thanksgiving weekend...random thoughts.

I couldn't let the Thanksgiving weekend go without journaling a little something.  It has been sooo wonderful having all the kids around.  Well, except for the 3 am wake up this morning with all of the boys coming home from a party, but I'll even take that, lol!!!  We had a great Thanksgiving down at my sister's and got to spend some great time with her in-laws as well.

I have had a great time doing all sorts of research for the ranch and the house.  Make sure to read my post at my regular blog for today as it has some great new to me websites I have been using as research tools, way cool.  I'm also researching schools, but to be honest I like the whole idea of agricultural business because the words make sense to me, but then you think about the typical agri-business folks like Monsanto and Cargil and Tyson and it really makes me want to run the other way.  Maybe if I knew things from the inside I'd be better of to fight them.

Tom has been working on getting the rental all ready to go, which of course makes me feel like a schmuck for not being able to be up there helping him.  I am just not physically able to be painting and tiling, etc right now which in the back of my mind has me screaming to myself how in the hell are you going to be GC on a job???  But I always figure out something.  Right?

We figure it is time to start making drawings of our floor plans....  Very exciting indeed.

Have to say goodbye to the boys today; MAN do I HATE  to do that; at least it is only for 18 days.

Have some VERY important visitors coming this week.  DAMN am I getting nervous.

Repeat Mammogram and ultrasound on Thursday, Geez, will be glad when that crap is over.

Isn't this the way everyone's life is right now, a couple of great things, one or two not so good, a couple of good, one or two bad...hopefully in the long run it all balances out.

Have a great day,