Monday, August 29, 2016

Nineteen at the Ranch: Day IV

Just in case you missed the last three posts:

Yay! We are finally on the last day of our trip to my Grandpa's Ranch!! Hope these posts haven't been annoying you.
And guess where I'm headed this weekend! - he,he! =D Yeah. My Grandpa's Ranch. ;P Only this time my parents are going - and the owner. (until the sale closes, anyway) Along with some aunts and uncles. :D
Okay. So, the last day, we woke up and made breakfast - scrabbled eggs, bacon, and cold cereal.
Then we set about packing and cleaning, and packing our lunch for on the road - while the boys loaded up four-wheelers and such.
Colten shut everything off and all too soon we were locked out of the house and ready to go. As I stood on the porch, watching Colten lock up I said, "How 'bout we just don't go?"
I think this time I had the hardest time leaving I've ever had - even harder than last year when we thought it would be the last time going up there. (But thankfully I have one more chance to say good-bye! Who would've thought I'd go twice in one year - and so close together!?)
We said bye to Kirsten and her "gang" - and we were off - waving out the windows as we went.
Can you spot the deer?
By this time we were practically out of water- one more bottle for each of us. The day before we had been saving our water - trying to make it last. Some of us gave our last bottle to Colten- who has water diabetes and cannot get dehydrated. Thankfully, Kirsten had brought extra water. So  we headed to the teeny-tiny town near by and stopped to buy snacks and water! ;)
While we waited outside the little store for the rest off our group, Colten noticed the flag that was hanging from a post was tangled up. He told the boys to fix it. A little while later a car backed out to leave - they yelled, "Thank you!" out their window. At first I was thought, for what? Then I remembered the flag. :)
We hopped back in the two pickups - and we were "on the road again". We did stop once for lunch, once for a rest stop, and once for gas - but we made it home. ;P I was tired. I'll tell ya that. ;)

And that was our trip. :) It was amazing! And I mean it. ;P

Such great memories!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nineteen at the Ranch: Day III

Just in case you missed the first two dayNineteen at the Ranch: Day I

*Warning: I took the post pictures this day, so... *

I woke up the morning of our third day at the Ranch to cows- lots of cows. We had been there for a few days now, and until then we hadn't seen any cows! We thought that was strange - seeing plenty of signs of cows, but seeing none. I sat up in bed, "There's the cows!"
They came running down the hill, coming straight towards the yard. The dog started barking and chasing the cows - Shiloh starting yelling and chasing the dog, Kirsten started chasing Shiloh and the dog. I was in bed and could only hear all this, but it sure sounded like an adventure. Shiloh got the gate shut in time for the cows not to come into the yard and trample all over Kaysha and Roger, who were still in there tent.
We had a breakfast of scrabbled eggs, sausage, and cold cereal.
 After breakfast, we began to shoot some guns. The boys had been shooting off and on throughout the trip, but we girls hadn't yet. I shot my dad's first rifle, which was Shiloh's at the time (now my brother ;P) and that was fun! I can't close my left eye, so I had to shoot left handed - though I'm a righty. It was really fun - I actually know how to load that gun! Before, when I would shoot, some boy would load it for me and then I'd shoot it. But not this time. =D I did it all on my own. :)
 We had been up so long that we forgot to check the time before calling our parents to ask a question. When Felicity called, they had been in bed! So we then looked at a clock - six in the morning! Oops! =D
We made some more coffee. Took some pictures of the "romantic" coffee pots and cups. All this while the boys were still shooting. (they did that a lot ;P)
Me: "Hey, Dustin! You gonna have coffee?"
Dustin: "Yeah..."
Me: "Good! Use this cup!"
Dustin: *looks quite confused* "Why?"
Me: "So I can take pictures of it!"
And I think they turned out quite nice ;P
*I can't say I remember exactly what we did all day...but these are the order I took the pictures, so they must be the order things happened ;P Though I'm sure things happened in-between, too.*

We girls went down to the river before lunch. To swim, wash our hair, and shave (;P) before it got too hot. It was already hot! Kirsten's dog, Astrid, was getting pretty hot. Me and Emily were the last to leave down to the river, so Dustin tied the dog to our four-wheeler. I drove while Emily held onto Astrid's cable and told me to slow down and stop when needed. So it took us a while to get down to the river. I had told the other girls to wait for us before crossing over to the deep spot, but they waited on the other side! So I had no choice but to ford the river - which I was pretty nervous about. But, hey! It's actually fun! I did it twice. On the way to the deep spot and on the way from the deep spot.
We stayed down there at the river for quite some time - primping ;P
When we got back from the river, we found a lot of boys playing board games. We learned later that they had been bored out of their minds once they were done shooting - the girls had the four-wheelers! ;P They needed a break anyway.
So, while they played their games, we set about making lunch. And since the boys took the kitchen table, we didn't have much counter space. But we had more room for getting about the kitchen. :)
We had hobo-pies for lunch.
After lunch, me, LaKaysha, and Kirsten hopped on Colten's four-wheeler and went for a ride. Coming back to the house to get Emily when she was finished eating. I love driving! It makes me feel so free from cares! =D Colten' four-wheeler is kinda small. Going up hills, it was like,"I think I can, I think I can.." ;P So we ended up going back to the house getting one that could fit four poeple better. The boys had packed the trails down real nice for us. ;P When we first got there it was hard to know if we were still on the trail or if we were just plowing through the grass, making a new trail.;P I think everytime we go up there, the trails change a little bit. It just depends on how the driver remembers it. it's the corners that get off a bit, I think. :)
Us girls went outside and took some pictures. I used my last polaroid film that day. (don't worry - I bought more ;P) That was fun! Sorry, Daddy, that we forgot to take some of us in our Hi-Mark sweatshirts. :)
We all got kinda tired and sluggish by the end of the day. It's actually funny that around supper time we were all ready for bed - and by bedtime we were all ready to go! ;P We took some pictures of the beautiful sunset. (I was using Felicity's camera during this - I don't know why. So I don't have any pictures of it.)
I remembered that Felicity had gotten some nice pictures of the house and barn one year, up on the hill behind the pond. So I asked Kirsten to join me - and we took off running, LaKaysha tailing behind. Astrid came along, and we had to chase her down when we realized that the cows were up there! The boys came along with a four-wheeler and dropped Emily off - taking the dog when they left. Sadly, the trees had grown up taller and that view of the house and barn couldn't be caught on camera anymore... unless we totally went to the wrong spot? ;P
We took the long way back - walking down the hill and then back up the driveway - passed the barn. It was dusk, and the whole time LaKaysha talked about how it was a dumb idea and that a snake was gonna kill us - if the cougars didn't beat it to it. But I wasn't worried. Besides, Astrid came running back to protect us. I especially felt safe when we got onto the driveway.
Maybe it was a dumb thing to do, but we survived, and made memories. ;P  The boys were calling coyotes and elk when we walked back to the house. When we walked in, Colten was putting one of Grandpa's many, many hunting videos going - so Kaysha could hear a real elk bugle. Eventually all the boys were in there watching - and that's what they did all night. 
We made Italian Cream Soda's and handed those out.
Then I hopped in the shower. When I got out I found my friends outside - giggling. Silly girls. ;)
It was so cozy there. All the boys gathered around the TV in the living room - the light dim, just because they are. ;P All of us just relaxing on our last night there.
We did go to sleep eventually, but the boys stayed up longer. Which helped me sleep - listening to their chatter and chuckles.
We couldn't see the stars that night because it was cloudy - complete with a ring around the moon. We had ourselves some giggles - talking about what would happen if it was to rain on us out there. =D Running in the house in the middle of the night, screaming, tripping over sleeping boys... it would've been eventful. ;P

So, what do you think of the pictures I got?
Which is your favorite?
P.S. one more post to do! But, I'm afraid it won't be very long... :)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Nineteen at the Ranch: Day II

Just in case you missed the first day: Nineteen at the Ranch: Day I

Colten, Marita and Emily hopped into Colten's pickup - started their hour drive to town and our second day began. They were simply "running" to town to fix Grandpa's four-wheelers, get water, and some milk. While they were gone, us girls (that were left behind) went on a short four-wheeler ride. I drove first, with LaKaysha behind me. The four-wheeler that was making our drive rather dusty had Felicity, Kaysha, and Marissa on it. :) Have you ever drove behind another four-wheeler? Well, let me tell ya, you sure don't wear those sunglasses because it's sunny (not that is wasn't sunny ;P) - it's to protect your poor eyes from all that dust.

After our ride, we went in the house to just sit and relax. And it sure is easy to relax up there. I'm just at home at that wonderful place! I didn't grow up with that place as my home as Marissa and Marita did, but I still love it! :) We sat in the living room, checking on the boys every once in a while. They walked all around outside. At one point someone looked out the window and said, "Aww!! Boys are just so cute!" Naturally, we all hopped up to see what these "cute" boys were up to. They all huddled together in the back yard, making a bow - we found out later. (the below picture - aren't they just adorbs!? ;P)

I was so curious - what time will Kirsten, Laban, Shiloh, Gavin, Gabrian, Lando, and Cody get here? So I went up to the loft, and out onto the deck. Maybe, just maybe, there will be service up there.
No such luck.
So I head to the top of the hill outside. "Ohh! Three bars!" But, the minute I click "send" the phone is like, "Just kidding."
Back in the house I'm like - "We're gonna have to call."
So, LaKaysha calls Kirsten from the Ranch phone. Only, it doesn't have long distance - and it's fuzzing, so she was like, "Call me back... Hey, Kirsten! Call me back!! I'm hanging up now! You need to call me back!"
She hangs up the phone, "She probably won't call me back."
But Kirsten was smart. ;P And soon the phone rang. They were already on the road, and should show up around noon.
It was a short conversation, but we found out what we wanted to know. ;P
When Colten, Marita, and Emily walked in, we were like, "Hey! So. We were thinking that we'd  go down to the river for a picnic lunch!"
So, they next minutes were filled with people running around. Changing into swimsuits, filling the cooler with our sub stuff, and writing a note for Kirsten's "gang" who were due at any minute.
I'm out on a four-wheeler, waiting for my riders, and....
"Hey! They're here!"
So, Kirsten skips down the hill, with her dog not far behind. We told them about our plans for lunch, and they joined us!
The boys forded the river to the deep spot and went swimming after lunch. While we sat in back of pickups, waiting. We had only been there for not even a full day, so I wasn't comfortable leaving my brother down at the river quite yet. (the poor thing had three "mothers" ;P)
 Once we were back at the house, the boys took off on the four-wheelers - all four were working at that moment. I can't say I remember exactly what we girls did - probably just sat around the house, checked on the boys, chatted, and straightened up. :) Every so often flagging a boys down for one reason or another.
At one point, it was discovered that one of Grandpa's four-wheelers was broken - like the frame snapped. So we were flagging down all the boys till we had all of them back at the house. And we asked, "Who did it?" After some detective work they figured out that the frame was already half broke, so it just couldn't stand the driving around - it is an old four-wheeler! ;P Wasn't really anyone's fault.
The boys decided that they were going to go back down to the river to wash up a bit - 'cause, let me tell ya, they were DIR-TY! So, after supper, we told them not to die while they were down there, and off they went.
My mom called the Ranch house while the boys were gone, so I chatted with her for a while. In the meantime, we girls were all getting our showers done, just chatting. ;)
When the boys got back from the river, Roger got his guitar out, and started giving Lando some pointers. (Lando had his dad's guitar) While the boys listened - eyes wide. :) Soon Gavin had his fiddle out, and they started making beautiful music! They started out with some hymns, then Gavin asked if someone could get Gabrian to play his background while he played some waltzes and jigs. Those were amazing!! =D  Gabrian got off the four-wheeler he was riding on, sat down, played without saying a word, and when he was done - he was back outside. That boy is quiet! ;P

Lando, had heard the song "Seminole Wind" (by John Anderson)  once, and was plucking it out on the guitar, just for fun. Soon Roger and Gavin were learning it, too. It took them hours and hours, but after only hearing it twice, they played the whole song for us! Talk about shivers! =D

And they ended with some hymns - "Amazing Grace", "Come Thou Fount", and "Be Thou my Vision". :) By the time they were done playing it was midnight! Us girls crawled into out outdoor beds and just lay there - listening to the boys chat and laugh inside the house. Kirsten and Emily sat up and watched the meteor shower again, but I was way too tired after that long day, and not getting much sleep the night before. I actually slept like a baby that night! =D

Watch for my next post: Nineteen at the Ranch: Day III

*All videos in this post will only play if YouTube is NOT blocked on your computer*

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Page Update

So. I think I'm finally satisfied with the "About Me" page on this blog! Just lettin' y'all know. ;P

I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know if you find any typos, or things that totally make no sense, on that page! Thanks! =D

P.S. The second post about my trip to the Ranch will be coming soon! :D

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Nineteen at the Ranch: Day I

I'm back from my amazing weekend! =D

I rode with my cousin, Colten. A few hours behind us was the other half of the group who were coming from our area. :) We had six in our "load", three boys and three girls. We where hauling the four-wheelers, driving an amazing pickup, listening to cool country music, with the two boys in front both wearing cowboy hats. We must've looked like quite the group driving down the freeway ;P We got a lot of waves from other drivers. :D
We took a different way than I grew up taking to the Ranch, and I felt kinda bad that I was the one asking for rest stops every so often, - there weren't any!  ;P But our driver handled it well. We did stop at random little "holes in the ground" rest stops, but those are hard to find.
We drove through some of the cutest little towns! There was this one that I loved! It had the adorable light posts along the street, with the old buildings! So cute! =D
And the we were driving through the mountains, with nothing in sight - it was awesome!

Twice we had to stop and fix the straps on the four-wheelers, and the second time we did - one had broken! So we used the spare and went on our way.
We stopped at the little town near my Grandpa's Ranch on the way in - just to stop, and check to see if they had a tow strap. In those small towns - everybody knows everything. By the time we left they knew what we were doing, where we were going, and who our Grandpa was. ;P
And then we left pavement and were on the half-hour-long dirt road we call "the driveway". Click! We unbuckled, rolled the windows down, and stuck out our heads.
A bunch of deer ran across in front of us, then ran alongside us for a while! (the above picture) We also seen pronghorns!
Soon we were in the trees and I could smell the Ranch!!! (the trees, dust, ect.)
and then we seen it in the distance! We were really there! =D

We crossed over the cattle guard onto my Grandpa's property at about three o'clock. (And we left home at nine-sixteenish ;P) We unlocked the house and while Colten and the other boys went about turning on the propane power, ect. we girls set about cleaning the house. And guess what! Colten got everything turned on with no problem! (that was one of the reasons I was worried about going up there without Grandpa)
The house wasn't as dirty as we had prepared ourselves for, so when I walked in behind Colten once he unlocked the door, I was like, "Wow! It's not bad!" we had it mostly clean when the second "load" arrived. :D

Then the fun began! :D We drove four-wheelers some that first day, but not much. Walked to the barn, went on the swing a bit, but the poor thing - it's knot needs to be retied! Maybe Grandpa or my dad could fix it when we go back up for Labor Day?

We had the boys haul up some mattresses up from the basement and set them on the back porch - and we made our bed. Some people did some showering in the claw-foot bathtub, and we began to settle down for the night. But, yet trying to stay awake for the meteor shower. After a game of Phase Ten, us girls climbed in bed. The boys brought the couch onto the porch and we all sat up till midnight watching the stars above. I seen some truly amazing ones!
To tell you the truth, I didn't sleep well that first night. I can't say I was scared, it was just that my mind was going a mile a minute. ;P Well, I must've been a little scared, because I kept telling myself that the boys were right inside the house (and we only had the screen door closed) and that Kaysha and Roger weren't far away in their tent. It just felt so weird to be there without my parents or Grandpa! (I just realized that until this trip I had always gone up with Grandpa! Some of the people there had been there with just their parents - but I never had even done that!)
 I didn't fall asleep till about two - and even then it wasn't restful sleep. So, I felt pretty gross the next morning, but coffee does wonders ;P

All the people there total:
(some came on day II)

Roger (1st cousin once removed), Kaysha (Roger's wife, also my 1st cousin once removed), Colten (double 1st cousin), Marissa (aunt), Marita (aunt), Felicity (sister), LaKaysha (sister), Emily (double 1st cousin), Kirsten (1ts cousin), Daminika (me ;P), Laban (1st cousin), Dustin (double 1st cousin), Lando (1st cousin), Gavin (double 2nd cousin), Chancy (brother), Shiloh (1st cousin), Kenyon (double 1st cousin), Gabrian (double 2nd cousin), and Cody (1st cousin)!   Phew! Did I miss anyone!? I hope not ;P
and Kirsten's puppy, Astrid. :D

Look for more pictures in my next post: Nineteen at the Ranch: Day II