Friday, April 10, 2015

Veater Ranch in spring

“Dear old world', she murmured, 'you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”
-Anne, Anne of Green Gables

Spring on the ranch makes me feel just like that.
I was married here in the spring, and there's just something about it.
The smell of the grass, the flowers, the trees.
And even though it came and ended earlier than anticipated this year,
we sure are grateful for what we got.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Here and there and everywhere.

One of our favorite things to do these days is take drives on the ranch after I get off work.
[though we won't have much time to do it because we're losing daylight like crazy!!]
And since the backroads aren't always bump free, and I'm bundled in at least 3-4 layers,
it's not exactly a safe experience for me sometimes, much less my camera.
So the only pictures I seem to have of our drives are from my phone.

So forgive the pixelated quality, but we've had a lot of fun.
We've seen frogs and deer and bears and several good sunsets,
and discovered new favorite spots and deer antler sheds from years gone by.
We sure love this ranch and are trying to spend as much time soaking it up as possible.

And, as always in any kind of ranch family, we're praying for rain.
Rain before the big freezes of the winter. Rain for grass, grass for cattle and horses and wildlife.
So that's pretty much it. George keeps clearing, we all keep enjoying the ranch and praying.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Barn

Welcome to the newest addition to the ranch!
Since my parents moved to this side of the ranch to live,
they decided to move the ranch headquarters over here too.
In their case, that includes an arena, a barn, etc.
And they decided to go ahead and choose a barn with some living space quarters attached!

And it all worked out better than any of us had planned.
Jay and I finished at BYU and got to move in.

My mother always used to ask when we didn't clean up after ourselves, "do you live in a barn?!"
And now yes, yes I do. If you're wondering what it's like to live in a barn [technically above a barn]
it's our favorite place we've ever lived.

Some of my favorite things include the quiet and the view, open windows at all hours,
family dinners all the time, horse rides with dad, rodeo practice,
wildlife [though I could do with less spiders], and the freedom... oh the freedom.
Living in a small town is all it's cracked up to be, and so much more.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ups and downs and bugs and dirt.

If you don't like bugs or dirt or animals,
our home would not be the place for you.
Last night, just before bed, I went downstairs to change over the laundry.
I smashed at least five potato bugs [which are a nastier form of a cricket] and a spider.
And those are just the ones I caught.

Lots of nights we go on drives,
and if you went with us you'd realize why cowboys wear boots.
Dirt and stickers. Everywhere...
and boots cover your feet and don't have laces for those pesky stickers.

You have to get used to animals- dead and alive.
Being in the middle of nature you see it all.
The barn cat, Maude, has been known to catch and eat lots of squirrels.
On the flipside, last week we saw baby deer who still had their spots.
And there is nothing more adorable than that.

But if you can handle [preferably embrace] the bugs and dirt and animals,
you really are left with the most magical place.
The sunsets are something to behold,
and little gems of nature are all over if you look.
And the quiet. Oh, the quiet.
I think all the prophets had it right.
There's nothing more peaceful,
and almost nothing that make you feel
the majesty of God as much as being on a mountaintop.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

California Drought

This year is a drought year, if you haven't heard.
A lot of the state is struggling, but we've been very grateful and fortunate.
One of the best things about where we are is the water.
We have springs popping up all over the place,
and though the grass is long gone and we have to feed the horses hay,
our wells aren't going to run dry.

Every drought is a cycle, and Veater Ranch has lived through more than one.
My dad tells a story at his company seminars that really puts things in perspective:
In the 1970's there was a terrible drought year,
and anytime my dad thinks of that decade he thinks of that terrible drought.
However, if you look at weather patterns for the years both before and after that one drought year...
they were years full of rain that he never remembers.

Our world is so focused on the trial period, the hardship, the drought, the drama....
But what about the up side?
Everyone remembers the stock market crash, but who remembers as well the happy years in between?

We all have a little bit of fatalist inside, I think.
Even though there's been feast and famine and happy and sad,
somehow when things get worse it seems like
the upside of whatever cycle we're in will never come.
There is wisdom in the words of a man I love,
"It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. It will all work out"

How silly of us to so often forget life's springs.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Veater Ranch: Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving on the Veater Ranch this year was such a dream. There's something about the crisp air and breathtaking sunsets. I never wanted to leave, and as soon as I did I wanted to come back. Of course, I'm only slightly biased. This year, Thanksgiving was hosted at the George Veater home, and with Kara at the helm it went off without a hitch! Thanksgiving for us includes hours and hours of family time (immediate and extended), movies, and lots of drives to check on the cows and scenery.

Aside from Thanksgiving, George continues to work hard in the office and on the ranch (maybe risking his life) clearing brush, and Kara continues to act as mother of the year to the last baby girl left at home. A new bunch of cattle are in, and their evidence is all over the roads. The few leaves clinging to the trees are the perfect mix of green and gold and a thick blanket of crunch leaves and pine needles covers the ground all over.

As of today, there's snow on the ground, but we enjoyed the fall-feeling Thanksgiving of 2013.
Welcome December and Christmas and snow!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Veater Ranch

A lot of my acquaintances at college are aware that I live on a cattle ranch, 
but when I show them pictures they are almost always in shock. 
It is never what they had pictured. 

Let me explain... first, we ranch cattle, but we live in the mountains. 
That means that we don't exactly have open, rolling fields of grass. 
In fact, what we were given was something more like steep draws and thick brush.
And if you know anything about cattle (or can picture having to ride a horse through brush while gathering...) you know that's not ideal.

But my dad had a vision that it could all be something better, something more useful. 
So he went and bought a bulldozer, and started clearing the brush and leaving trees. 
The government loves him for it (hello useable land!), the fire station loves him for it (less brush=less fire hazard), we all love him for it (brush isn't exactly a piece of cake to gather cattle in), and the cows love him (when there is less brush, the land can grow more grass).

So this is what he does. 
He takes his bull dozer, and pushes brush down these steep mountains into brush piles.  
(which will be burned when it's not so hot)
My little brother (who isn't so little anymore), comes behind him and sprays the regrowth to make sure it doesn't look the same again in 5 years.
[clearing in the mountains really takes a toll on this guy]

[Look at the difference between the cleared mountain in front and the brush in the back!]

The end result is really something beautiful. 
In the winter, we are surrounded in breathtaking green, 
and in the summer we find magic in acres and acres of golden oats.

At least that's my take on it :)
That middle Veater daughter