|Posted on January 9, 2020 at 9:40 AM||comments (0)|
There is something about land I really love. Funny thing is..remember back 26 yearsa go, how I said i liked the city growing up with concrete...but maybe it was because I also had opportunity to play in the dirt as well.
Yesterday, when I was out working in the yard, trimming the pomegranate tree, I thought how I much preferred taking care of my land over some tedious inside responsibilities I have.
Maybe it is in my DNA. My grandparents were farmers and had vineyard. We called it 'the ranch". My many cousins and I would go almost every Sunday to play at "the ranch.". I loved the Thanksgiving dinners, where we'd all sit around a ranch table and eat. My mom was one of 16 kids, so that made for a lot of cousins. There were 40 of us first cousins in all, however, we all didn't show up on Sunday at the same time. We were the baby boomer generation, so there were a few of us born ever year and it was like having siblings. Since, I didn't have sisters, I had girl cousins to play with who were close to my age.
One of our favorite times was swimming in the ditch. Looking back, I can't believe we did this. In todays standards, people would say it was filthy and no way would they let their kids swim there. However, this is what we did back in the day. There were no concrete walls in the ditch so it was easy to climb out. We always had older cousins with us. (I still believe this is where I built up my immunities as today I rarely get sick.)
When the ditch was dry, I would love to go on adventures with one of my cousins. I wanted to explore for hidden treasures that were left behind in the ditch. I'd also like to walk out to the railroad tracks where we heard the 'hobo's lived. I dreamt of being a hobo one day to hop on a train and go on an adventure.
I never imagined I'd be on a new adventure, building our own ranch.
|Posted on January 3, 2020 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
When people visit, they often ask us the story of how we got into getting alpacas. My typical answer is, it was such a random thought/decision.
Actually when we traveled in the past, we would see signs about alpaca farms and Arnold often seemed interested in them. So we'd visit. Then one day while he was purusing craiglsist he came across someone, who was retiring and selling his alpacas. The farm wasnt' too far away, so I said, let's just go look for fun.
After some time spent with them, I had a thought, that they would be a great attraction for our airbnb guests. The seller told us they were easy to take care of, just like dogs, feed them and pick up poop, on and shear once a year. I thought, oh we could do that, so we made the bold move and bought them October 2017.
Next thing, was getting the pens built and the area ready for them. We bred the females in hopes to have 'cria's the next year, but sad to say they didn't become pregnant. We moved them to our property the following month and since then they have been a joy to so many visitors.
|Posted on July 28, 2019 at 8:35 AM||comments (0)|
It was a hot Central Valley summer day, June 1993 when we moved to Madera Ranchos from Fresno. I was 8 months pregnant and not looking forward to the move.
We had been looking to buy land and build for four years in the Clovis area; yet had not found anything within in our means. When my friend told me about the "Ranchos", I came out for a visit. It was amazing, withing 4 weeks, we found and got our property. It was a sign from God! This was the place! Although we had all intentions on building a log home (we had the plans made), life just got too busy for us, and we decided to have "Western" build us a home. We made lots of changes to their new 6 bd/4 bath design. Who would have known it would be the perfect place for us. We started building Fall 1994 and moved in June 1995.
When we first moved to the Ranchos, I didn't like living in the country. It was dry and barren and seemed so far from town (Fresno). I was a city girl, I liked concrete sidewalks and places nearby to shop. All my friends were in the city and no one would drive so far (only about 15 minutes) to come see me. It's funny that we thought it was a long commute when people in Los Angeles sometimes commute an hour to work. Back in the day, we had two phone numbers (land lines), Madera and Fresno. I thought it was expensive to have two back then, however, it was far less than cell phones now!
Over the years we added trees, a large grass backyard, an upright pool, and then new remodels etc. The house became a home, which I often refered to as our "Eagles Nest."
We had another baby and our country home was filled with laughter and fun. The 4 kids all went to the local elemetary school, and later they attended the newly built middle and high school. We enjoyed watching Fri. night football games on the berm. The kids grew up with friends for twelve years.
We had many parties- paintball parties, swim parties, wedding receptions for friends, the list goes on. The dogs and cats came and went, although Buddy (the dachsund) stayed with us for 17 years. The drive to Fresno didn't seem so long and I began to enjoy the country life.
When the drought hit and lingered for 7 years, we had to let the grass go. We made it drought tolerant yard. When the pool died (got a hole) and the kids were no longer using it, we said good by to it, as well as the trampoline.
The kids graduated and moved on. We became empty nesters and I thought, I can't stand the quiet and empty house. Let's do airbnb.
So much has changed over the years. I am grateful for the many blessings we've expereinced out here in the country.