Saturday, December 28, 2013

1935 Motor Vehicle License Application

Found this in the stacks of paper. No idea why any of these old documents were kept, but it is interesting to see the progression of vehicles over the years.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Photo--Dead People

I don't understand the large number of photos of dead family members in caskets amongst the photo files. I know I would rather remember the departed while they were still alive, not during their final moments exposed to the air.

This first, of what I can presume will be a series, shows my great grandmother, Hattie, in 1967.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Photo--My Grandmother

Had to take this one out of the dirty and busted frame to scan. It is in nice condition for its age. Photo is of my grandmother and her twin brother in 1910. AuntI seems to think she is the one on the right. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Photo--Behind Grandma's House

Never new there were goats out here until these photos from the 1950s turned up. Looks like Unc with the goat. Yes, that outhouse is still there, though a bit harder to see because of the trees blocking it from this angle. You can also see the clothesline. That metal bar holding it up was there until recently. The ladder to the roof of the porch area is still there, though I wouldn't dare get on the roof anymore. Neat to see all the fencing in the garden area too.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Photo--Outside Grandma's House

Not sure who took these two photos, the upper one of Oxnix, the lower of Unc. Could it be that Hattie was proud of her two grandsons growing up on the place, or was their uncle a shutterbug?

The fence behind them is still in place, overrun with a bushy yellow rose. The gate is still there too, though it no longer swings or has the fence on the left to be attached to. It's swing shut mechanism is still in place too. The A frame building is gone, on the upper left. The floor was eroding and it's structural integrity was gone. It was a treasure trove of old junk, including countless Prince Albert tobacco cans. The garage still stands today, though the roof is pretty well gone.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Photo--AuntI and Unc

Photo is from about 1968. Unc would become a Staff Sergeant in Vietnam. AuntI stayed home (and is still here right now). The couch on the right was finally place downstairs the other day. You can still see the 4x8 pattern in the ceiling and the walls are still red. AuntI's graduation picture was finally taken down a year or so ago and the shelf is now full of plants. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Photo--Lower Yard Area

Probably an early 1950's view, showing the grain bin in the center, still standing in pretty good condition today. The wooden fence seen above the garden on the left is down to only the second board up, the rest having more than likely rotted off. The pipe crossing through the center of the picture is part of the gravity irrigation system, with the pumphouse for it being the wooden building on the right. A tank next to the windmill was filled either by the pump or the windmill, and then fed by pipes all over the place to irrigate. 

The blacksmith shop is the second building from the right. The chicken coop is the building on the left. It is nearly fallen in and will probably be the next building that we remove, to keep it from falling into the driveway.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

2013 State of the Ranch Report

As of today, we’ve been living here for one year. How time flies! And what have we accomplished in that fast-flying time?
Our precious Tootles
We demolished four buildings – five if you divide the wood shed into wood and coal. And “demolished” really only means giving the final push that nature was waiting on to reclaim the ancient structures.
We began construction on the round pen, though it was abandoned due to the election season.
We filled six metal-recycling bins with junk metal lying around everywhere. And there’s still so much more to go.
We felled Clarence the Elm Tree, and started removing willow snags.
We added internet, which involved more land displacement and rock removal than we expected.
Kitten Horde and Clarence
We moved AuntI back into private quarters, and eventually reclaimed a family life in the public spaces.
We “redecorated” the basement – the on-site storage unit – twice.
We lost several pets (Pepe, Spike, and Tootles included), gave away two (the llama trouble-makers), and gained far too many (the kitten horde and Sam the Siamese). The fluctuation of chicken numbers was far too much to keep track of, and the ducklings never made it. Nor did the geese.
We chased down and recaptured the llamas far too many times.
We cut down and dug up most of the ancient irrigation system, including the part that was laid within the foundation walls of the house.
Mostly clean yards
We killed one rattlesnake and one bull snake, that last one due to misidentification.
We lost far too many plants, mostly due to the llamas, but we did have a small garden survive and produce a little food.
We cleaned up the various yards and planted grass. We’ll see if it comes up next year.
We removed numerous old vehicles, and burned up three then-current ones.
We removed old home d├ęcor like ancient radios, badly-built and overused furniture, giant webby spider mansions and poorly-made plastic canvas wall-hangings. We then replaced them with living plants, bulletin boards and to-do lists, and the annotated clock from the old house.
We swept and dusted, and dusted and swept, and swept and dusted again.
Vehicle challenges
We (I) hand-scrubbed every tile in the public areas, twice in the kitchen. Not sure I’m convinced it’s really clean yet.
We brought in Dish TV’s Hopper System, just for peace between vastly differing viewing interests and time schedules. Amazing how much conflict we can still have over three viewing options.
We documented nearly every wildflower and most grasses and shrubs on the entire ranch. We established how many of them are medicinally or culinarily useful.
We fought the continual onslaught of kochia, thistle and wild rye. And mice and ticks and snakes. And ravens and coyotes.
The annotated clock
We developed strong connections with the area farmers and neighbors and businesspeople. We’ve discovered my family roots here aside from Dude’s heritage, and how little this community r
eally is.
We emptied boxes of paper gathered from everywhere out here, and salvaged pieces of history that we still need to decipher.
We (Dude) re-fenced more fencelines than we can count. And the llamas and coyotes still walked through them.
We introduced AuntI to wii, conservative news, a varied array of musical styles, internet information searches, space-sharing, and a level of activity she’s never seen.
We used our backhoe in numerous new ways, including in food preservation – a feat we’d never imagined.
Family fun
We broke the mammoth tusk.
We (Munchkin) had multiple sleepovers, each getting progressively more fun as the space improved in cleanliness and comfort.
We rebuilt an irrigation system under pressure of potential wildland fires.
We rebuilt the roof of the cellar, in the snow, no less.
We ripped the muffler system off the farm truck, but had fun in it anyway.
Rural beauty
We fought snow and ice, and heat and sweat. We found favorite hollows and bluffs. We bonded over visits to muddy ponds, hidden wells, distant meadows and rutted roads. We cleaned and fixed and redesigned and learned. We laughed and cried over all the struggles we didn’t expect, and then laughed and cried again over all the surprises God granted us. We celebrated our adventure with friends and family.
We moved in and took dominion. And we can’t wait to get on with our second year!

Document--Property Swap?

This letter causes us to wonder if D.O. traded his place near Olympia for Albion's homestead. The deeds we have helped lead to this idea.

Yes, the names are covered over.