Sunday, August 31, 2008


The newest addition to our family.
Name: Kira Lynn Rash

Born: 8-29-08 @ 8:37 PM

Weight: 8 lbs 3 oz

Length: 20 1/2 in long

As a footnote: Drew (her brother) turned 16 years old on 8/28/08.
Good Luck Mom and Dad

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

'Hay' There...

The farmer finished baling the second alfalfa cutting in the field and we just had to take these photos (for size). The bales weigh anywhere from 1800 - 2000 pounds. We believe it too.

Glendia, Mom and I pose just for size comparison. Oh yes, look closely, Panda is there too.
Mom is doing well. She's walking more (with the walker of course). We try to keep tabs on her so she doesn't wind up on her tush.
Of course, if you want the smaller lighter (100 - 120 pound) bales, we have those too.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hello Summer

Summer has finally arrived and the garden I planted (in June?) is starting to produce something.

It's August the 9th and given the area in which we live that leaves about six weeks (on the outside and if we're lucky) until the first frost. Do you think any of the fruits and veggies will make it?

Here we have Sunflowers (planted mainly to feed the birds in winter) they appear to be doing well. The next photo is our pumpkins. They're supposed to be Big Boys. I think they're more like little squirts. The third photo is a weird type of tomato sort of oblong like a Roma Tomato. They're slightly larger than the quarter.

Next are the regular tomatoes. They have a long way to go. The cucumber are also very small. The onions are doing great but, of course I can't eat onion.

The Lettuce is doing wonderfully (we gotta eat more salads). The grapes are starting to look like grapes instead of peas and the solitary watermelon (I'm so proud) that no one told us would grow in this area is doing better than anything else.

I have also picked one zucchini. We'll fry it up tomorrow.

The cherry tree had a lot of cherries on it this year. We carefully put bird netting over the tree to keep the birds from getting the cherries. It almost covered the tree completely.

I was outside a few weeks ago and tried one of the cherries. It was just right so I decided to pick the cherries (in the morning). Did you know birds are early risers? And, I don't think they're just looking for worms. The morning of the great cherry harvest arrived and so did the birds. Nearly all of the cherries were gone by the time I got outside to remove the netting and pick the cherries.

I gotta be more clever next year or get a bigger net.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mischief in the Making

Take one small rooster (originally named PFC Arcana; renamed Mickey; about to be renamed Houdini because he keeps escaping from the chicken coop), one small dog just itching for a good chase and one Koi pond and what do you get?

BTW: Chickens don't swim. They may float for a few minutes but they definitely don't swim.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Update on the RJ Ranch

Sorry about the slow postings. We've been busy here. I made a trip to California in July to help my sister drive herself and Mom back to Washington. They have moved in with us so there is plenty of adjusting to do here.

Mom was doing pretty well until she got a sinus infection. After four days in the hospital and plenty of new medications she's doing better again. This is all new for me so I go into panic mode whenever something goes other than as planned. Glendia takes it all in stride. Mom is getting stronger and we all seem to be coping well.

Roger started work at Schweitzer Engineering a couple of weeks ago. It keeps his mind busy and keeps him from thinking up more projects for us to start. He is working hard and comes home tired. He's working the swing shift so he doesn't go into work until 1:30 PM and gets home anywhere from 11:30 PM to 12:30 AM depending upon whether or not he does overtime. Our early 5:00 - 5:30 AM wake up call has gone out the window. But, we're adjusting to this change too.

The Koi Pond Saga Continues

While I was in California (arrived on Thursday afternoon and we left on Friday morning) I stopped at the Laguna Koi Ponds to get help with the pond.

This is the pond as it appeared before I picked up a 'few new (and expensive)' supplies. It really is in need of help.

First there was the aerator; cost $260.00 plus extras; an expense we didn't really need. But, the improvement in the health of the fish makes it worth it.

Secondly we found out that the UV filter we have been using for the past two years is totally inadequate so, there we now have a bigger and better UV filter. The water clarity is so much better now so it was another necessary expense.

Thirdly, I found out that we are coping with a bacterial infection. The infection has been exacerbated by the fact that our filtration system on the pond is totally inadequate.

When we first moved here three years ago we only had nine fish. Smokey had scratches on his head. We thought it was from a Heron attack. He's a big fish and was probably too large for the optimistic bird to carry off. Ben (at Laguna) told me that the Smokey’s current condition had little to do with the Heron and that he had a bacterial infection. I am told that all the fish have it but, because Smokey is black, the condition is more obvious on him.

So, now I’m treating the pond with Potassium Permanganate. I’ve read up on it and it is caustic and can cause damage to the fish if used in excess. The compound oxidizes organic matter. In theory the Potassium will ‘eat’ the organic waste (including the bacteria) in the pond and create a healthier environment for the fish. I definitely do not want to get this stuff on my hands.

Since the fish will not stop depositing ‘organic matter’ in the pond it will be necessary to install a better filtration system; cost (who knows?). We’re working on it.

Because the Koi have been prolific these past few years and will continue (in theory) for many years, the pond has become a bit overcrowded. Ben at Laguna told me that the Koi would continue to spawn each year and I would continue to wind up with new babies every year. So, it is necessary to be selective about who stays and who goes. I will need to cull out some of the fish and either sell or give them away.

Our other option is to continually dig a bigger and deeper pond every couple of years. I have opted for the give away (or selling of the fish). At this point parting with some of the Koi will be like parting with one of my children. Side note: don't name your fish.

This is what the Koi pond looks like today. We still have the filtration system to revamp and, I'm still working on 'cleaning it up'. It does look better though.

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