Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Mike CHS

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I'm glad to see you start a journal. Don't feel too tech impaired. I was around computers back in the 60's before most people knew what they were but when I retired I did a data dump and now all I know is what's on our farm.

By the way - I'm a flip phone user also but it's all I need since I don't usually answer it anyway. :)
 

Baymule

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DH, me, DD and DSIL all have Apple I-phones. Finally dragged DH kicking and screaming into the modern world. Now he loves his I-phone.

Just round up the kids, spouses and grandkids and move them to east Texas too. There is no place I'd rather be.
 

Ridgetop

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Ok, I'm back. It took me 5 minutes to find the list of questions I am supposed to answer - here are the answers to the ones I remember. I only have an hour until I have to go out with DS and change the crayon in the ram's marking harness.

So, we live in So Cal, SFV, I am 2nd gen born in the Valley, grandkids are 4th gen. Since California is riddled with valleys and the residents of same just refer to "the Valley", this won't tell you much. my grandparents settled here just before the depression, on an acre across from a dairy. My great grand parents lived with them and their 4 children. My great grandmother was raised n a farm so she had dairy goats, chickens, etc. fruit trees and garden. By the time my mom got divorced and moved back in with them, the goats were gone, my great grandmother was gone, but my grandpa still had ducks and geese. My uncle was a rodeo cowboy during the season and signed up to do ranch work off season. He would bring his horse with him when he came to visit since he lived in a trailer drawn by a horse truck.

Both my DH's parents grew up on farms in Kansas but he did not have any animals because his parents said they knew how much work it was and "no thanks". But they went back each summer to the farms and he spent a lot of time with cousins doing farm work. Work for them, fun for him.

Our first animals were rabbits for meat and hens for eggs. We lived in town so no roosters. DH got into showing his NZW rabbits and did very well at it so when we decided to move so the children could have horses while they were still kids, his dream was a large rabbit barn with at least 100 or more "holes".

We bought our place 1 3/4 acres of just the older house, nothing else. It was 1500 feet smaller than our original old house and needed a lot of renos. DH had done all of it on the first house and promised it would only take "a few months". The man has a golden tongue and 30 years later we are still doing renos. Escrow no sooner closed than the utility company (DH is Lineman/cable splicer) instituted mandatory 12 hour days/6 day weeks and sometimes 7 day weeks. The overtime was welcome but in that trade you have overtime and $$$ or plenty of time and no $$$! First the barn - we started building the 24' x 36' pole barn as soon as we moved in. Once the framework was up, DH would work all day, come home at night and cut plywood sheathing for the roof and lay it in place. next am I wiud take older kids to school climb up on the brn roof and nail down the plywood. Repeat, repeat, until it was finished. Then run water lines and hang cages - my job while DH was at work. I learned to run PVC piping. I hung the rabbit cages from hooks in the barn rafters - first put in the hooks then balanced the cages on my little ranch hands' heads while I connected the chains to hang them. Then we build manure pits under the cages and I finished it off by laying short lengths of 2 x 12 over the top edges of the pits to make walkways. DH had to cut the boards for me since I was still afraid of the saw - I hadn't progressed yet to being comfortable with large noisy powerful tools - that came a number of years later.

Next animals were dairy goats, 2 nice milkers but no where to out them so before we could pick them u oldest DS and I strung 4' chain link onto some old existing pipe posts. I bought a "come along" like DH said we needed but when we put up the fence, he was back at the dreaded 12/7 schedule so it really did nit get stretched very tight. DS was only 8 at the time and I was still incompetent. I think at one time the previous owners had an animal pen since there was a sort of tumble down open shed attached. It is still there although with a new roof and reinforcing over the years.

Got to go for now - DD arrived . . . . Back later

Got to go
 

Ridgetop

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Back now - favorite animals are dairy goats. Favorites are LaManchas and Nubians, Alpines are ok, Toggenburg have icky milk for the house. When the youngest sons sold their herds we had over 100 and were milking abut 20 daily, on test, herd evaluation, buck collection, etc. etc. Used the milk to raise bull dairy calves from our friend's dairy for veal to sell at Fair, and then after Fair brought in 4 and 5 at a time to raise on milk and leftover dairy goat hay (so picky) to 2 months then sold at cattle auction for hay money.

Kids raised market hogs, lambs, meat goats, veal calves, rabbits and turkeys for the Fair. Breeding projects were in goats - dairy and Boer, sheep & rabbits. Rode their ponies all over the place, went horse camping, etc.

FAVORITE TIME OF MY LIFE WAS RAISING MY CHILDREN FARM STYLE - OUR FAMILY HAD SO MUCH FUN AND SO MANY CRAZY THINGS HAPPENING!
 

Ridgetop

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Back now - favorite animals are dairy goats. Favorites are LaManchas and Nubians, Alpines are ok, Toggenburg have icky milk for the house. When the youngest sons sold their herds we had over 100 and were milking abut 20 daily, on test, herd evaluation, buck collection, etc. etc. Used the milk to raise bull dairy calves from our friend's dairy for veal to sell at Fair, and then after Fair brought in 4 and 5 at a time to raise on milk and leftover dairy goat hay (so picky) to 2 months then sold at cattle auction for hay money.

Kids raised market hogs, lambs, meat goats, veal calves, rabbits and turkeys for the Fair. Breeding projects were in goats - dairy and Boer, sheep & rabbits. Rode their ponies all over the place, went horse camping, etc. After first 2 dog attacks got our first guardian dog - MaremmaxAkbash, then added a Pyr. HaLGDs ever since with livestock. On rare occasions when none, lost animals - that tells you! Now we have a 6 year old Anatolian bitch and 2 year old Anatolian male, looking to get 3rd later this year. Just talked to breeder and bitch is definitely pregnant, due end of month. Estimated pick up in October/November since she likes to keep them 16 weeks to make sure they get a good start.

Married to same darling exasperating guy for 48 years. FAVORITE TIME OF MY LIFE WAS RAISING OUR 4 CHILDREN FARM STYLE - OUR FAMILY HAD SO MUCH FUN AND SO MANY CRAZY THINGS HAPPENING! DH'S FAVORITE WAS FAMILY RIDES WITH ALL KIDS MOUNTED AND THE LITTLEST UP IN FRONT ON HIS SADDLE. :love:love:love GOOD TIMES, BUT THEY ARE NOT OVER.

I learned to lay PVC water lines, install sprinklers, we laid our own sheet vinyl in the house, did everything ourselves, learning as we went, Pre-computer I bought how-to books and read them over and over. No 4-H livestock leader when we joined so I had to buy more books and study up on all the animals my kids finally got. Leaders offered to help us so I would load the kids in the truck, cross tie the sheep in the back and drive 2 hours to do a showmanship lesson. No trailer yet, and it would take me another 10 years to learn to drive one.

Yes, we would like to move to FLAT acreage with plenty of water. My cowboy uncle told me once "no water - no nothing" and I remembered it. When we buy property we will have the well tested for water quality and GPM. Flat acres or slightly rolling, means we can actually use a tractor. That way we could continue having our animals and maybe get a herding dog for the sheep. Probably not any more dairy animals since milking is soo much work for us and we don't need all that milk. We love east Texas towards Dallas. I would love to move there, but we would be leaving our darling grandchildren behind. :hitDon't know if we could handle that until they are older and we become surplus. LOL

We have learned over the years to do everything ourselves, we spent 8 years renovating a 7 unit apartment building, have completely rebuilt and renovated 4 houses, can build anything and have taught everything we learned to our sons. DD didn't even want to learn to cook but that is why our grandchildren want to come and live with us! ;)

I have to go hunt for the list of questions again. . . better write some of them down.
 

greybeard

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I too have a flip phone and am happy with it, tho I am pretty proficient with all things digital. Have a tablet and a laptop too, but they generally stay in the house or shop. My flip stays in my front wrangler's pocket and I never have to worry about anyone stealing it or me making an accidental call.
I don't need gps or any of the other crap. Get lost? I just do it the old fashioned way.

map.jpg
 

Ridgetop

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Baymule: Have been trying to do that for a couple years now but no luck. Son-in-law has computer Phd and I told him Austin is new Silicon Valley but no go. Other son just moved up near San Luis Obispo, coastal area, new house on 5 acres and good riding trails, they love it so not happening there. Last 2 sons and daughter unknown factors, although DS currently working with ranch animals but hates hot weather so . . . ? May just have to leave them behind and go to Texas ourselves.
DH just got an iPhone too so I have to work it for him. Only person in our family more tech challenged that me! :lol:
 

Ridgetop

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I prefer maps when on the road since my maps app does not tell me how far I am from certain things like the towns where Flying J is.

True story - a friend did not show up on time where a bunch of us were horse camping for a week. We were getting worried when she finally pulled into the campground. She said she was driving along when her low gas light came on and she realized she was almost out of gas with no towns or stations in sight anywhere. She pulled out her trusty phone with the GPS map app and asked where the nearest gas station was. The GPS sent her off the freeway and along miles of roads, then it announced she had reached the gas station. Looking around there was no gas station, but there was an oil derrick pumping away in a field! We asked what she would have done had she run out of gas on the way back to the freeway and she said she would have unloaded here horse, saddled up, and ridden off with her spare gas can and found a gas station! Truly the old ways are best! :lol:
 

greybeard

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Yes, we would like to move to FLAT acreage with plenty of water. My cowboy uncle told me once "no water - no nothing" and I remembered it. When we buy property we will have the well tested for water quality and GPM. Flat acres or slightly rolling, means we can actually use a tractor.
I know just the East Tx place for you, and it's going on the market this year too. You won't have to worry about water. Got nearly 100" of rain last year. (of course almost 1/2 of that was in a 4 day period...........) :hide
;)
 

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