Dirty Thirty – August 25, 2012

Alright y’all, it was “Dirty Thirty” time at Mellor Ranch last Saturday night.  We found it fitting to officially celebrate my 30th birthday with a tribute to trailer trash.  Yes, that means we gathered all of our closest friends in our backyard to let out that inner trashy self.  It was definitely a night to remember… and may have been the best night of my life!  Thank you to everyone who helped make this the best birthday ever!  It’s hard to choose all of the highlights, maybe the pictures below will help, but then again, there are many pictures I will refrain from posting on the world wide web … you’re welcome 😉

A huge thank you to our designers and event producers, Ms. Kristina Pluta and Mr. Brett Bluth. First our wedding and now this… you guys rock! We love you almost as much as the nacho cheese fountain 🙂

We have to mention the invitation for the party. A “Redneck Fire Alarm” with bubble wrap and duct tape for an envelope. Keepin’ it trashy!

It’s Hay Cuttin’ Time

It’s been an exciting week here at Mellor Ranch, i.e. hay cutting week.  This time John was able to do it himself with his new farm equipment.  Mind you, that requires three heavy duty attachments for the tractor –  the swather, rake, and baler.  (I’m just learning about this whole new world of tractor attachments too.)  I guess our hobby farm is becoming a lot more serious these days.  I’m waiting for the day when John quits his real job to become a full-time rancher/farmer.  I think this is what gets him through corporate life.  Anyway, we wanted to share this initiation process into the hay cutting world.  It’s kind of a big deal out here in the country.

It’s a pretty simple process, but the machines are kind of big and scary. First you cut the hay, then the hay has to dry out for 3 – 5 days during which time you pray it doesn’t rain because that can ruin hay, then you bale the hay, and lastly you stack the hay in the barn.  Apparently making good hay is primarily about Mother Nature, but the equipment makes it a lot more fun.

I was able to capture all of the hay cutting events with my new camera (which I’m still figuring out).  Thanks, John, for such a great surprise birthday present!  So yes, there are a lot of pictures but hey, it’s a new camera.

Might be the best day of his life. (Well, besides our wedding day and the birth of our first child.)

Step one – the swather, which is a fancy name for the machine that cuts the hay.  Kind of like a big lawn mower.

Yep, this is what he lives for.

Step two – figuring out the rake. So, during the 3 – 5 days the hay is drying, you can speed up that process by “raking” the hay which means exactly what it sounds like. It flips the hay from the bottom to the top and therefore the hay gets more evenly dried. The result is a row of hay called a windrow.

Step three – baling.  This is the most amazing part of all.  This single machine sucks up the hay windrows, packs them into nice little square bales, and then ties a string around them.  And it does it with NO electronics, just power from a spinning shaft that hooks to it from the tractor.

Most of the time, I just want Prissy’s life.

Finally, step four – picking up the bales (the hard part), and stacking them in the shed.  We got almost 2 tons of hay from this cutting which will last for many months into the winter.

And, that’s a wrap.  Until next hay cutting…

And, into my 30’s I go… August 15, 2012

Wam, bam, thank you 20’s. It’s been the best decade of my life … so far, but somehow I am looking much more forward than backward.  My 20’s was the first decade away from adult supervision and, like lots of people, I felt like I had to cram the whole rest of my life into 10 short years because “30” sounded boring.  It ranged from too many late nights to earning my pilot’s license to moving to L.A..  I will still pay for some of those party years. In a lot of ways, it feels like my 20’s was like watching an albatross take off – clumsy, bumpy, and at times downright awkward.  As John says, “your 20’s are the poopy diapers and burp rag of adult life”.  I’m looking forward to my 30’s as the years when I begin to relish the yummy, simple parts of life.  I feel incredibly blessed to enter my 30’s with a wonderful husband, a gorgeous baby girl, and so much life adventure ahead of us.

So today, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to stay in and spend time together as a family.   John will cook a delicious dinner (like he does most nights) and I get to be with our sweet baby Charlotte.  Oh and Prissy will be there too vying for our attention.  So here’s to my 30’s…

Thank you, thank you to all of you that I count as my friends.  It’s a blessing to go through life with you.  Yes, it sounds melancholy, but I wouldn’t be here without you.  Just sayin’.

Hey guys, it’s me, Prissy!

<<if Prissy could talk, we’re convinced she would have a slight lisp and a valley girl accent>>

Hey guys, it’s me, Prissy!  I just feel really excited today because mom finally let me have some time on the blog to talk about what’s been going on lately.  I mean, there have been a lot of changes around here and I feel like no one ever listens to me anymore.  Sometimes it’s like, do I even exist?   After I was complaining this morning about “Charlotte this and Charlotte that”, mom said we could talk about me.  Jeez, I use to be like the main event here on the ranch but that is sooo not the case anymore.

So like I guess mom and dad brought home this baby named Charlotte one day and boy did things get rough for me.  I mean, for weeks all they did was sit around this baby and stare at her and talk to her.  Mom was always carrying her around in her arms and didn’t have time to pet me or walk me.  All of a sudden, like overnight, my world was turned upside down and now I was second to this baby named Charlotte.  That was really hard for me to accept and still is.  So sometimes I get mad and steal her blankets and toys and tear up pillows just to make sure they know I’m still here.

Like for my birthday, mom put this stupid red party hat on my head and took a picture to post on Instagram and that was it.  I mean, you should have seen this “soirée” they threw for Charlotte a couple weeks ago.  It wasn’t even her birthday.  I just don’t get it.  At least I still have my buddies.  Well, except for Rooster.  He just went missing one day.  I’m not sure what happened to him.  He was always a lot of fun to play with.  But you know, there is still Monty.  I have had the biggest crush on him since day one.  It was love at first sight for us.  He gives me kisses almost everyday.  Then there is Dungee – my parents just call him “fluffy brown dog”.  He’s pretty much my best friend that lives up the street.  It’s pretty cool when he comes over to play.  And there is always Kitty.  She is weird and I don’t really get her but at least there is someone around when I get sick of being inside with mom and Charlotte.

My favorite day at the ranch is when we do irrigation. It’s sooo much fun cuz it’s like a river of water comes onto the property and all of a sudden there are puddles and streams everywhere.  I get so excited I can’t stand still, well, that’s pretty normal for me, and I run and run and run.  And it’s also super cool when the water makes all the gophers come to the surface and I get to chase them.  But, I have to be sneaky cuz if daddy sees them he sends them to heaven. Irrigation day has to be one of the funnest days ever. Afterwards, I sleep for like 2 days just to recover.

So anyway,  I have to admit that Charlotte has been growing on me lately.  For the longest time she would just lay there and do nothing.  I didn’t get what the big deal was at all.  But now she like smiles at me.  It’s pretty darn cute when she does that.  I like to go over and give her kisses whenever mom isn’t looking but most of the time I get caught.  I think we might get to play together more now that she is a little bigger and moving around.  Mom isn’t so scared to leave her on the floor with me anymore.  I mean, maybe it won’t be so bad having Charlotte around, who knows.  I hope mom will let me have a little more time on the blog so I will be able to keep you posted on how it’s going.