Tag Archives: Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: The Mother of All Garden Tools

Garden Tool
This little tool saves hours in the garden, so I can spend hours away from it.

It’s been said that the right tool makes every job easier.  I say, that, my friend, is a fact.

I spent many hours on Mother’s Day relocating my last year’s garden.  I discovered that mowing around it was a problem, so this year we decided to make a few adjustments.  Creating a new garden is easy enough, however, filling in the former garden spot with grass (not weeds) can be tough.  I had been working diligently relocating Bermuda grass when I remembered a garden tool I bought a couple of summers ago.

My husband calls this the “Weed Twister.”  It was purchased  because I refused to use weed killer in my yard.  We had finally begun to see some grass growing on our property, but it was accompanied by a monster weed that was virtually impossible to dig up.  I was spending ten or fifteen minutes digging up each weed.  I was not getting very far.  This tool helps get the job done.  The key is the claw at the bottom.  The claw is attached to a long pole so the gardener does not have to continuously bend over.  Simply stand over the weed, pound the tool into the ground over the weed, and twist. Do it again.  That should loosen it enough to get even the toughest weed out of the ground. Continue reading Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: The Mother of All Garden Tools

Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: Sunny and Share

See! I told you there was a LOT!

This spring the rain has been abundant and the sun intermittent, but many of my hardy plants have come back from last year in multiples.  I am happy to share them with friends.

Last week I overheard my friend Anna say that she’d like to plant some Lemon Verbena.  Lucky for her, I have tons.  Her only job was to provide me a list of its uses.  I am going to try it as a tea.

I gave my friend Deauna a bunch of oregano that came back from last year.  She is a great cook, so I know it’s something she will use.  I kept a little for myself.  I will try to cook something with it…but no promises as to how it will come out.  The good thing is that I have plenty to use in my culinary experiments.

herb garden
My herbs are planted in a wagon wheel-six herb plants fit perfectly!

Continue reading Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: Sunny and Share

Meanwhile Back at The Ranch: Life is TWO Good

If you asked me if I liked even or odd numbers, I would say “odd.”  There is something about the numbers one, three, and five that intrigue me.  You would never know this fact based on what’s going on out here at the ranch.

Cats: When we moved to the country in 2004 we brought along our two cats.  Of course, back then we were “city” people, and I won’t even begin to tell you the exorbitant amount of money that was spent on each of them.  A third cat eventually joined the group but died of an unknown illness.  Really, I insisted on an autopsy…of a cat…and the findings were indeterminate.  We were left with two.

Horses: Our Mustang, Jet, came to live with us because our neighbors had one too many horses.  We were clueless new horse owners, but our friends are very experienced and have followed through on their promise to guide us in the right direction.  “The right direction” included buying a horse friend for Jet.  Roxy came to live with us just a few months after Jet’s arrival.  It was great fun watching them get to know each other while they lived in the midst of all the goats.

Cats….again: Last summer my husband brought home two three week old kittens who had lost their mother.  He claimed we needed barn cats.  Here’s a little secret….we didn’t have a barn.  We nursed them along and let them stay in the garage with a heat lamp during this cold winter.  They are our outside cats.  They enjoy bird watching and hopping in my car when I am late for work. Continue reading Meanwhile Back at The Ranch: Life is TWO Good

Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: You Are Where You Eat

We have a couple of favorite eateries.  It has little to do with the food; it has everything to do with the people who eat there.  The restaurants are filled with our neighbors from miles around who fill us in on new business, fun events and serious news that affects us as community members.  So we’re driving around in the rain at 8:15AM on a Saturday morning.  We’ve got some time to kill before my hair appointment, so we decide to try a different diner for breakfast.

This sign does not stand for open-minded.

Huge mistake.

We walked in and placed our order at a counter then found an empty booth.  Usually, I enjoy listening to the locals chat about what’s going on around town.  Today was different.

Complaints.  Complaints. Complaints. NOTHING but complaints.

*One husband and wife sat at two completely separate tables.  He pointed at a couple entering the restaurant, and she complained that she didn’t want to talk to them, so she went and sat in the car.

*The gentleman in the back complained about having to go to work…about twenty different times.

*The newest patrons, the couple the one lady didn’t want to talk to, announced that someone in the next town over had died.  The man across from us was sure it had to be an overdose. “You know how those people are,” he said.

*There are too many unwanted dogs getting hit by cars.  “They need to be put down.”

It was at this point that I looked up at my husband and said, “We have GOT to get out of here.”  The complaints continued.

* Gas prices.  Bad gas. “My truck is ruined because of watered-down gas.”

Finally, the biggest nay-sayer got a phone call and announced that he had to leave.

*He complained about his wife (the caller) as he scooted out of the booth. Continue reading Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: You Are Where You Eat

Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: Estate of Confusion


There were TWO of these.

I can’t say that I have always loved garage sales, but in my adult life I have hosted and helped friends with several of them.  I love cleaning out closets, getting up early, and putting similar items together.  However, this weekend our family hosted an estate sale at the home of my father-in-law who passed away last November.  Most of the family showed up to help organize and price the artifacts left behind by their father.


That’s where I drew the line.

It started a few weekends ago when I went up to help get ready for the sale.  I had cleaned out a few of my own closets and found several things I could do without.  They were donated to the cause without a thought, but then this question kept resurfacing: “Julie, how much do you want to put on this?”  No matter what I said, my suggestion was either too high or too low.  No matter how many times I declined to answer the question, they continued to ask. However, a few of my items were taken home by the family for personal use.  I guess “free” was a good price for those. 🙂

Goodbye washer and dryer. Hello $100.

One week before the sale, I let a friend do some shopping in the trailer.  She spent $67 on two chairs, a quilt rack and a cat food bowl.   Another friend bought the stereo for $50 and a pair of boots and a napkin holder for $10. Then it happened. “How much do you want for that outdoor furniture?” he asked. “It’s not priced?  Are you sure it doesn’t have a price on it somewhere?” I replied. Really, I looked everywhere.  My husband and I looked at each other.  I had already told him that I was NOT going to price one single item because my prices were always rejected by his family, but he wouldn’t say anything so I decided. “$25 for the two chairs and table.” Needless to say, when I revealed that information on the day of the big sale, it was not well-received.  All I could do was shrug my shoulders.  I mean, someone walked out with a free $129 Tempur Pedic pillow, and the other pillow I donated was sold for $1.  I guess I’m still not clear on the pricing procedure.  I’m just glad it’s over.

I'm not surprised this didn't sell. Go POKES!

We still have a trailer full of some over-priced and some under-priced goods. I just hate that I still can’t tell which is which.