Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's Official?

We're continuing to make progress at the new Golden Gaits Ranch property. There's a lot of grass in the fields that is just begging to be enjoyed by the horses. However, the property is not fenced. I (Tim) started working a bit on fencing in order to not let all that grass go to waste. Here's a picture of the horses enjoying their newly expanded pasture:

The fence is not truly "horse-proof" at this point. It's just a single strand of electric wire. But, the horses respect the wire and have plenty to eat. However, we put them back in the more secure paddock when we leave the property.

The ducks are growing amazingly fast. We're starting to see real feathers sprout, replacing the baby down.
Laurie has lots more pictures and should be posting more details soon.

We've been hankerin' to put up our Golden Gaits Ranch sign for a while and yesterday we took out time to do that. It's kind of a temporary thing; we'll likely re-do it later. But, seeing it up kind of makes it "official".
The Happy House will be located on top of the hill behind the sign.

A neighbor came by the other day and said to Tim: "Are you Tim?". I answered in the affirmative. She then asked: "Do you train horses?". Again, affirmative. She wants me to work with her and her horse. I guess word is getting around. That should be fun.

It's still hard to believe we're really here. There is so much to do and yet so much to pause and enjoy. We love sitting on the swing in front of the RV in the evenings watching thunderstorms off in the distance or enjoying a beautiful sunset. We are truly grateful to our Father for this gift. We're always looking for ways to share it with others. Come on out for a visit if you get a chance!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Living

Most mornings lately have been sunny, warm and beautiful. Yesterday I went for an early walk, and loved seeing the morning sun shine through these fresh aspens near our property. The quiet is so restful, with only the sounds of birds singing. Very often there are times when nothing motorized can be heard! (Click on photos to view larger size.)

I went on to our "south hill" and enjoyed this view of our recently completed barn and home site. Plans for the house are in full swing, as Tim gets estimates from electricians, plumbers, etc. Excavation for the house and septic system should begin soon!

Here's a closer shot of the barn, now with its siding completed. Tim also put up this nice, buck & rail fence with some posts we had brought with us from the Shoofly house. It adds a nice touch, and gives more of a "ranch" feel.

While Tim is busy with the construction work that requires brains and brawn, I am busy with other chores more suited to my abilities. I scoop the horses' poop, lend an extra hand when Tim needs it, cook, clean the house & do laundry. A lot of my daily chores haven't changed all that much.  I've discovered that our little combo washer/dryer washes the clothes ok, but takes a long time to dry them, and then they come out quite wrinkly, I think due to the small size. I've begun to hang things out on the line, and find that they dry quite quickly in this dry climate--at least in the mornings before it rains! The sheets come out particularly nice after hanging on the line. Not too long after I shot this photo it did start to rain and I had to bring these clothes in.

Bratten Ducklings, June 5, 2015
We picked up our ducklings at the post office last week (June 4) and they're growing fast! They are currently living in a brooder box in our storage room, under a heat lamp. Meanwhile, Tim is building a duck house for them, and they should be able to move to that sometime next week. Here's a shot of them the day after we brought them home. For more info regarding the ducks, please see the posts on our garden & ducks blog: Golden Gaits Garden.  See the "Ducks" tab at the top for all the duck info.

We truly enjoy being here. A few days ago Tim & I took the horses out for a ride around the neighborhood. We went six miles by the time we returned home, after doing one big loop. We saw some beautiful scenery along the way. Somewhere along the route I asked Tim, "do you ever miss Wellington or the Shoofly house?" His quick response was, "No, not at all." My sentiments exactly!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Retired - What's That?

Last Friday (29May2015) was my last official day of working (and getting paid for it). They call it retirement. I'm starting to wonder where that word came from. "re-tired" - does that mean tired all over again? That's how I'm starting to feel. Working on the barn, putting up fence, working with the horses, plowing my way thru a 700 page code book (acting as my own general contractor, I have to understand all the code requirements), getting permits, meeting with subcontractors to get estimates, building a duck brooder, making plans to build a duck house, helping a neighbor dig up and repair a water leak that was flooding his house, helping another neighbor unload a semi full of metal roofing, fixing a flat for a young lady passing by our property, the list goes on. It seems like I'm busier than I have ever been. And, I'm definitely tired!

But, it's a good tired. We get to enjoy God's handwork all around us while we're working, we're developing good relationships with neighbors, and I have even lost a little weight.

By the way, retire has a French origin and it means to "withdraw (to a place of safety or seclusion)". When you look at it that way, it makes more sense. We have withdrawn to a place of seclusion (and beauty). But, we didn't do this to become hermits. We did it because our Father led us here. We still have much to learn about His Kingdom and for some reason He brought us here to continue our "training". We fully expect to find ways to serve people here, even though it seems like we're out in the "boonies".

The barn is coming along nicely. I'm not completely done with the metal siding yet, but it's taking shape.

Barn with the lean-to and new paddock area for the horses. 

And we frequently get visits from our "wild" neighbors.

A herd of deer "share" the pasture with our horses. 
So far, retirement is hard work, and yet, relaxing and refreshing. For any of my former coworkers reading this, if you are wondering if I miss my job, take a guess :) .