March 2014


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My view of the sunset when looking West

     As I sit in the chair and watch the beautiful sunset, my mind looks back on the last two weeks of my life.  My body is sore, there are aches in places I didn’t even know I had, my hands are becoming calloused again.  I have learned many things in my short time here… and there are many more to learn.  But I have noticed one thing… it’s quiet.  Not devoid of sound kind of quiet, but the quiet that comes with being away from cities.  There is a highway that intersects the land I’m on, but being a city boy, I’m used to the sound of cars.  But our nearest neighbor is two miles away.  I have always wanted that kind of seclusion.  

     I awake in the morning, and step outside to watch the sunrise and listen to the animals prattle on about whatever it is they talk about.  Sometimes I cry because of the beauty of it all.  Have you ever seen something so beautiful that it made you cry?  It’s actually a good feeling.  Not like that crappy feeling when you cry because you’re hurting.  After watching the animals for awhile, I have breakfast and get to work.  Work could be anything.  It could be fixing the barb wire fence where some jackass drove through it, remodeling a room in the 130 year old house, or digging a big ass hole for the start of a foundation (btw, holes are dug with a shovel here for most part) LOL
     There are many things we do here, and there will be more as we get the place up and running.  During my spare time I can usually be found learning some type of new skill.  I have taken a liking to survival skills.  I have learned how to make fire from multiple different starting points. IE: magnesium stick, flint and steel, etc…  I’m learning and practicing some tracking skills, and I have learned (in theory) how to gut, skin, and cut a rabbit up for food… and to tan the hide.  (If I’m going to hunt rabbit, there will be no wasted part)  I haven’t hunted rabbit yet, but eventually the time will come.  I also know how to skin and cook rattlesnake.  They’re all plentiful out here.  I am also learning the different leeching processes for removing the tannins from acorns so I can learn to make acorn a part of my diet.  The natives used to fight over some of the old white oaks because the health benefits were so great. 🙂
     It’s not all roses though.  There are downsides.  There are Coywolves out here.  That is a wolf and coyote hybrid, that are pretty much all the bad things about the two animal wrapped up into one.  They will attack you if they get the chance.  So you need to be very aware if you’re outside of the house at night.  It’s nice being far removed from neighbors… but that also makes us vulnerable.  There have been times when people just come on our property.  Some are harmless, and then there are some like when the two guys were looking at my bosses truck, and one was trying to distract my boss.  I miss my son more than ever. (He is doing well though)  And let’s face it… there’s no way I’m going to meet a woman out here on the ranch.  I’d have to go into the city if I wanted to meet a woman… but I’ve got too much on my plate already. LOL  I’ll live though. 
     I better get outside, as I’ve already missed the sunrise while writing this.  Have a great day everyone. 🙂
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The Ranch House
 
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to live on a ranch or farm.  I remember going to visit my Grandfather as a child.  He was a “Man’s man” as they say.  He knew how to do everything.  Cook, hunt, build things (everything from supplies such as wood, metal, stone, etc)  He knew everything I’ve always wanted to know.  Well, I grew up, graduated high school, met a wonderful woman, and had kids.  One day everything went to shit.  I have gone on this rant before so I won’t bore you with it again.  But needless to say, I ended up moving in with my father’s brother, who married my mom after she left my dad.  We was messed up from years of drugs and drink.  

     Well, some time ago, my ex wife (whom I have a good relationship with) asked if I would be okay with her and my youngest son moving overseas for awhile.  After a long decision making process, I decided that I couldn’t let him miss the opportunity to see another country.  Well, time went on, I kept working, chasing my tail, trying to keep up with my bills and the like.  My uncle got an abscess in his tooth, and even after seeing the dentist and getting antibiotics, it kept getting worse.  He wouldn’t go to the doctor.  He ended up 
dying a horrible death.  The tale of his death is another story; which I plan to write at some point.  Shortly after, I was informed that my youngest son wouldn’t be moving overseas, but he would be moving about 2100 miles away.  He was moving to the other coast.  I was, and am, glad for his opportunity, but I miss him dearly.
     I was given an opportunity from a lifelong friend to move to his ranch, and be a ranchhand.  What kind of moron would deny himself the opportunity when it finally presented itself?! LOL  I have been on the ranch now for about a week, and every day has brought me new lessons, skills, and a sense of accomplishment that I haven’t had in a long time.  This ranch was left to it’s own for about 50 years before my friend came here.  There are no animals yet, except for the cattle that someone pays to use our land to let them graze. There are very few fruit trees left.  My days so far have been spent doing everything from fixing barb wire fences, building foundations for structures, and learning construction and finishing techniques while helping to remodel the living room.  The old phrase, “You learn something new every day” really applies out here on the ranch.
     I don’t know what will become of my blog.  I haven’t had the inspiration to write lately, and when I try and force it, nothing comes of it.  I have a lot of work to do here, and while I have tons of time, I don’t usually feel like writing after 12 or 14 hours of work in a day.  I have awakened early this morning to write this quick piece and let you all know that I’m alive and well… and living the dream. 🙂
 
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The Lake on the Property