Category Archives: the ranch

No Fear Parenting

Not too long ago, just a few months in fact, a horse and young rider appeared through the woods in front of my house. The boy, just 10 years old, in his worn chaps, boots, and cowboy hat, tied the … Continue reading

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Odds and Ends from Good Friday

It feels like Spring and Sunday is coming! I sat up in the tree fort with my ten-year-old for a good spell today, she thinking about picking out her 4H lamb later today, I drinking coffee and enjoying the breezy, … Continue reading

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Last week of May in pictures

Someday life won’t be so overflowing with noise and ruckus, dirt and wild animals–and wild children, so dear diary, help me remember this for the quiet days ahead. Continue reading

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Moon glory

Oh glory, who turned on all the lights?! Ah, it’s just the moon, so bright it’s casting sun-like shadows off the junipers, and the long slants of silhouette stretching far off the posts of the lamb pen belong to the … Continue reading

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All Things Bright and Beautiful

Out my wintry window today, I think of Mrs. Cecil Alexander, who penned in 1848, “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful; The Lord God made them all.” My older son says … Continue reading

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Fair Time!

You must know about the cotton candy, cowboy hats and rodeo, happy music, dizzying rides, the earthy smell of livestock, colorful people? Continue reading

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Stormy, Yellow Thoughts of Thunder and Puddles

The potbellied raindrops came thundering down, the cat hid under the bed, the dog barked at the booms, the kids danced all silly out there under umbrellas, and I was in awe.
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To Give a Gerbil a Bath

I didn’t know a wet gerbil would cause me to laugh hysterically. He looks so…cold. Or is he just shivering because he can’t remember his letters? Who does such a thing, bathing gerbils like babies? Was this really out of … Continue reading

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What makes a desert beautiful?

Life, death, and the breath of God — we were blessed to see all on a simple hike through our spring desert last weekend. {life} {death} {the breath of God} Technorati Tags: Central Oregon, country life, nature hike, nature study, … Continue reading

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Three little kittens have lost their mittens…

…and I began to cry. Our lovely trio of orange tabbies has dwindled to two. Chubsters, on the far left in this photo, disappeared four days ago. We hope and pray for his safe return, but this is the third … Continue reading

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In the Garden with Children

How to have fun, grow food, and build character while gardening with your kids.
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Homeschool Recess

Recess on the ranch is more fun than I remember from my childhood schoolyard. My school playground wasn’t nearly as bad as some (at least I had one), and I loved swinging the tetherball and merry-go-rounding, but I still have … Continue reading

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Conversations with a little boy.

I love him, I love his ideas, and gosh, I wish I could just jump in there sometimes and see it in full color. This must be how it is with children; they slow down enough once in a while … Continue reading

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Spaghetti Squash to Iron Man

What an amazing creation, this squash, right up there with the pomegranate in its ability to make your mouth water and your fingers cramp.
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I shined my sinks, and other news.

I finally took the Flylady’s advice and did something about my grimy sinks. They are so sparkling at the moment! No one dare set a dish in there, please. My husband actually noticed on his own, first thing upon entering … Continue reading

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Thank You for my dishes.

Another piece of Dansk Concerto Allegro Blue went down tonight. My husband and I have wagered that perhaps not one piece will be left by the time the kids are grown. It was a wedding gift, nearly all of which … Continue reading

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A Different Harvest

I was to be writing about the harvest this month. I was lulled out of vigilant garden care by a late warm spell, and then, bam, it froze and died. All lost. There are harvests of others kinds to ease … Continue reading

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When your daughter finds a baby jackrabbit

The dog brought a baby jackrabbit to our lawn. Miraculously unharmed, the small gray creature with eyes wide open was a gift to my 9 year old animal loving daughter. She has wanted to raise a baby rabbit for years, … Continue reading

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Newborn kittens over here!

There is nothing better! Newborn kittens, and children who got to watch the miracle happen! Five sweet little noses at mama’s belly, the awesomeness of new life. Technorati Tags: newborn kittens

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My High Desert Wildflower Tour

Come along while I track down the desert wildflowers on my Central Oregon property. With our wet spring, I’m seeing some I’ve never seen before.
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The Pixie Chicks and other signs of spring

I call these these the Pixie Chicks: This photo is from a few weeks ago when we stopped at my neighbor Pixie’s house and the kids enjoyed her chickens. We are loving that spring is hopefully here to stay. It … Continue reading

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I did something dangerous.

I let my kids visit the neighbor’s little farm. Now guess what they want? Technorati Tags: family life, ranch, baby goat, new chick

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Pogo: Toxic to the Tongue! A Tragic Tale of Little L

Do you remember pogo sticks? As a little girl in the ’70s, this was one of my favorite past-times, jumping and balancing like a happy kangaroo. Besides my stilts, another old-school toy, the pogo stick was IT. One of these … Continue reading

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Dear March – Come in!

How are things in your part of the world? It may not feel like spring, but I know it’s coming, the calendar tells me so. And also the sky, the birds, the tiny signs of life I see poking through … Continue reading

Posted in family life, features, poetry, the ranch | 6 Comments

Revisiting the Magic Window

I wrote about my Magic Window last December, and guess what? I found it! Actually, one of my kids found it in a box of my scant childhood mementos. I wrote last December: What was so magical about this double-paned … Continue reading

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Mint tea and me

I grew mint in my garden this year, mostly because of the treasured childhood memories I have of the mint growing in our Arizona garden. I loved this mint as a little girl, and when I would get sent out … Continue reading

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My Garden: A Short Photo Essay

Our garden brought a smile to my face all summer long. Funny carrot shapes. Edible toys (a pea pod turned helicopter). A great job for a child. The joy of finding the first fruit. Best of all, food for the … Continue reading

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When I’m Five

When I’m five, I can fly a kite, ride a bike, shoot an arrow, frost a cake (and eat it, too), make a wish and blow out the candles. Happy Birthday, Little L!! You can do so many things when … Continue reading

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Boy and a River

We enjoyed the most wonderful morning at Smith Rock State Park a few days ago. There by 7:30 a.m. to avoid the scorching afternoon sun, we hiked, played, and splashed our way around to the backside of the mountain. My … Continue reading

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She’s a Biologist

“Mommy, can I cut the lizard open?” JJ questioned very matter-of-factly. She had just come in from checking on her latest lizard, a big fat one she was sure was pregnant with dozens of eggs. She had felt little bumps … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, science, the ranch | 8 Comments

Hello Summer

Hello Summer! We’re done being sick and we are ready to enjoy this beautiful world. I’m listening to Little L read a book to himself, I’m feeling anticipation about the days ahead, I’m smelling the fresh garden dirt, and I’m … Continue reading

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Little of This and That: Train, Garden, France.

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there! I have a little of this and that to write about today. TRAIN. First, here’s one of my favorite pictures from my photofiles: A little train depot we pass nearly … Continue reading

Posted in family life, features, france/french, the ranch | 7 Comments

Memorial Day: taking a minute to write

Life has been incredibly busy, but I wanted to take a minute and record the days. Memorial Day weekend has been wonderful. Family came to visit from the valley, and my kids enjoyed some precious times with their cousins and … Continue reading

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Fun with Seeds and Seedlings

Kids will love these hands-on activities relating to how seeds grow, how strong seeds really are, and the importance of the plant’s first leaves.
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Swimming in April?

I thought I was celebrating spring, not summer. But I have brave kids. Central Oregon, April 5, 4:00 p.m., 66 degrees. I’m wearing a sweater. But blue sky, bright sun, and no wind all make for swimming in April, at … Continue reading

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It is for freedom we’ve been set free

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galations 5:1 This is a verse that came my way today from two different sources. I … Continue reading

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boy and shovel

A little boy must have a shovel or two to be truly happy, I think! What is it about digging that brings such satisfaction and sense of adventure? Will I find a buried treasure? A forgotten city? I must dig … Continue reading

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Happy 80th, Mom

My mother is now officially an octogenarian. I pray the 80s will bring her peace, grace, beauty, and good health. Here she is making her way down our driveway with a few of the kids this week, who love to … Continue reading

Posted in family life, poetry, the ranch | 11 Comments

Poet’s Cat

A Poet’s Cat, sedate and grave As poet well could wish to have, Was much addicted to inquire For nooks to which she might retire, And where, secure as mouse in chink, She might repose, or sit and think. – … Continue reading

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When Kids Explore: The Black Feather

Little L was so delighted to find a feather during our last hike about the property. Never mind we find them all the time, each new discovery still holds a bit of magic. Here’s a little poem I wrote for … Continue reading

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A favorite place

Big L found a favorite perch. From here, he had a bird’s eye view of the valley and the horizon beyond. Upon his rocky seat, with his hand steadied by the old weathered fence post, my son felt like king … Continue reading

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Overlooking the Valley

Out hiking a few weeks ago. Near the east edge of our property is a stunning view of the valley below. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly … Continue reading

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The Thaw

The air warms, the snow melts, and the animals rediscover the earth. The thaw is a messy thing, leaving puddles of mud outside our door, and as icicles drop with a crack, it creates a long row of untidy divots … Continue reading

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December View

Big L out front today, with the dog joining in the fun. At this moment, there is nothing quite so lovely as living trees flocked with fresh snow, a child building a snow fort among them, and a blue sky … Continue reading

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Simple Woman: November 24

For Today…Monday, November 24, 2008 Outside my window…the dark of early morning, but day will break within the hour. I see the bold outline of Juniper trees against the rising sky which now displays several horizontal streaks of the palest … Continue reading

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Sleepover with an 84 year old friend

“Jane is spending the night,” I announced to my kids yesterday. From the wild whoops of joy that followed and the “happy dance” of my five year old, no one would guess that Jane was not a favorite classmate, but … Continue reading

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68th Carnival of Homesteading – the putting up wood edition

Welcome to the 68th Carnival of Homesteading. It’s that time of year…fall is here with a chill in the air, and winter stands at the door. We’ve been putting up wood. There is a comforting warmth of a wood fire … Continue reading

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Cat up a Tree

A few weeks ago, I found Tawny high up in a tree, meowing rather pleadingly. After spending an hour finding a ladder tall enough to reach the cat, coaxing him with soothing kitty calls and finally food, I rescued the … Continue reading

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October Exploring

Our first October hike around the property began with a surprise greeting from this rust-colored fast-crawling spider. If the image is fuzzy, it’s because my hand was shaking a bit as I took the photograph. I’m not a big arachnid … Continue reading

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The Home Fire’s A-Going

“There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireplace.” Marcus Tullius Cicero, Ancient Roman Writer and Statesman, 106 BC – 43 BC. I’m totally delighting in this lovely fire my husband built tonight. The woodbox is full and the … Continue reading

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Frugal Field Trips

Local field trips are a perfect late summer outing–follow us to the greenhouse, a ranch, and a stunning state park.
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When sleeping on the living room floor felt like camping

“We reminisced around the campfire about the summer we lived on this property, just two years ago, in our travel trailer, parked right there by the teeth-brushing-tree.” Continue reading

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WW: Front Yard Gymnastics With Dad

Dad says, “Ouch, my body is heavier than it used to be.” For more Wordless Wednesday, visit the main page or 5 Minutes for Mom. What are YOU doing outside today? ******** In the blogosphere, we have the current Carnival … Continue reading

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Photohunt: Pointed (rock and spade)

Today’s photohunt theme is pointed. The pointed spade smoothes on the mortar for the pointed rocks. This section of wall is part of the outer front facade of our home. The rock work may be done by the end of … Continue reading

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Independence Day!

JoJo and JJ would like to wish you all a Happy 4th of July! They say “We love America” and hope you do, too. We enjoyed our hometown Independence Day parade this morning, and the girls got their fill of … Continue reading

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America: the good, the bad, and the ugly

This next weekend ushers in the birthday of the United States of America! Here are a few word pictures from this past week from me, in small town America, 232 years and still going. I’ve included the good, the bad, … Continue reading

Posted in family life, holidays, humor, politics/world news, the ranch | 19 Comments

Finish Strong

Your house will be judged by the finish you put on it – advice on landscaping, carpet, tile, applicances, and more.
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The Unknown Insect (that’s giving me nightmares).

WHAT is this??? I’m so sorry to post such a disgusting picture. My apologies in advance if you have nightmares about this enormous arthropod crawling in your bed tonight. The kids found this on our property, and I can’t for … Continue reading

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Drywall and Paint

Textures and colors are the palette of the artist – choose them well.
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Of Deer Sheds and Eggshells

“Mom! Look!” I had walked right by the 4-point deer shed, trying to keep my eye on the six children running wildly through our Juniper forest, praying the littlest ones wouldn’t trip on all the volcanic rock outcroppings. We had … Continue reading

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Foundation to Roof

Choosing and dealing with sub-contractors and making sure the shell of your house is built right.
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Homesteading Carnival: Oregon Trail Edition

Welcome to the Homesteading Carnival Oregon Trail Edition! The articles will be arranged around details of the Oregon Trail, so let’s pack our wagons and head west. The Oregon Trail was a route to not only Oregon, but the only … Continue reading

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Planning & Prep

Finding common ground, work with your land, think about a professional designer.
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June random stuff. Blogging, Ranching, Giving Away.

Yesterday was an interesting day of firsts. The kiddos found a chirping nest full of baby birds (children, do NOT touch!) and happened upon (cued by loud barking from the dog) a nest of wild baby bunnies jackrabbits (children, do … Continue reading

Posted in blog stuff, giveaways, the office, the ranch | 16 Comments

The Farmer’s Wife

Catching up with my friend and neighbor Connie who skillfully juggles the demands of large-scale farming, raising Clydesdales, and helping run another family business.
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Meanwhile, back at the ranch

Would you like to see what we’ve been up to at the ranch? The outside is nearly done, save for some dormers, the porch, and landscaping. Here’s the view from the east side. Inside, we’ve been busy, busy. Drywall and … Continue reading

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Brothers

My two country boys. Wordless Wednesday. Technorati Tags: brothers, children, country, wordless Wednesday

Posted in blog stuff, family life, the ranch | 24 Comments

How can I possibly have a child old enough to ride a motorcycle?

When did his scooter sprout a motor? When did those endearing “vroom-vroom” noises of my baby begin to emit from a big, scary machine and not his pouty little lips? As every parent knows, and as every older parent loves … Continue reading

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Carnival of Homesteading #45

Welcome to the 45th Carnival of Homesteading! If you’ve been around here when I host a Blog Carnival, you know how much I love themes! But, alas, I had issues. Computers, kids, work, and some other meanies all conspired against … Continue reading

Posted in arts & crafts, blog stuff, carnivals, family life, health/cooking/food, the ranch | 10 Comments

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt: Twist(ed)

This week’s theme: Twist(ed) About 1/4 mile down the road from me, this twisted barbed wire fence marks the boundary between one old farm and another. At times it held back cattle, at times perhaps a feud. Technorati Tags: barbed … Continue reading

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Homesteading Blog Carnival: Call for Submissions

My, another blog carnival is on the way! The Homesteading Carnival will be hosted here at Diary of 1 this coming Monday, April 14. You can submit your blog post/article HERE by Sunday at 9 p.m. EST. This blog carnival … Continue reading

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WW: Greetings From the Garden

Here’s the Diary of 1 family waving to you from a pile of dirt our future garden. I love my garden stake. For more Wordless Wednesday participants, go to the WW hub or 5 Minutes for Mom. Technorati Tags: garden, … Continue reading

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Bone and Stones and More at the Ranch

It’s a child’s playground at the ranch, and always a unique adventure around the corner. Here are thirteen snapshots of my kids enjoying the land around our ranch, and they would like to invite their friends to come and: 1. … Continue reading

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Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt – Wooden (our ranch)

This week’s theme: Wooden That’s a lot of wood! We’re getting there, folks! We continue to build the wooden structure that we call “the ranch.” Here is a view from the back, and I truly hope to show the finished … Continue reading

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WW: I Had to Pull Over

Sunset over the Three Sisters, part of the Cascade Mountain Range that I’m blessed to look at every single day. This photo is from last week, and I wasn’t the only one to pull over. Even us locals who see … Continue reading

Posted in carnivals, the ranch | 15 Comments

Wordless Wednesday: The Homestead

About the photo: This is the original homestead from our property – and yes, it’s still standing, won’t you come in for a cup of burnt coffee boiled in a pan over the cookstove? The land has since been divided, … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: When You’re Three, You Can Own an Island

About the photo: I call it Wheelbarrow Island. I just sat back and watched my kids turn an old wheelbarrow into a magical little place, with captains lost at sea, mysterious creatures of the deep, and a luau back at … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Ride Off Into the Sunset

I captured these sunset-kissed railroad tracks on my way home one evening, and couldn’t help but think of Lady’s magic gold dust (for you Thomas the Tank Engine fans). Blog Carnivals to catch: The Carnival of Homeschooling The Christian Carnival … Continue reading

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Progress at the Ranch

Building a house…we are determined to make this a positive experience for the family, despite the reality of the many pressures and strains such a project can create. We pray for grace and mercy in this endeavor. Unless the Lord … Continue reading

Posted in education, family life, the ranch | 13 Comments

My Elk Hunt and Shoot

When I shoot elk, it’s with a camera. There’s a gorgeous herd across the field, at least two hundred of them, that I see everyday (and spy through the binoculars), and of late have been hearing in the early morning … Continue reading

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On My Way Home

I have three lovely pictures to share with you from my drive home yesterday. First, you’ll see the friendly deer I passed, with the amazing vistas in the background; next is an abandoned bridge stretching across the Crooked River (which … Continue reading

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The Hunter

My husband (“The Hunter”) just had his first archery kill yesterday. It was special for several reasons. First, he had taken our six year old daughter (“JJ”) with him that morning, since it was her turn. Second, they were hunting … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: 90′ of Solid Rock, 240′ Total, WE HIT WATER!

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Shallowness

There is a time to hope and pray for shallowness, and I’m facing such a time. In two hours, the well-driller begins his quest for water on our Central Oregon ranch-to-be. This is the desert, my best beloved (been reading … Continue reading

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