Main Street

Main Street in Fredericksburg is a must do while if you go for a visit. Lots and lots of shops to browse through, wine tasting rooms, and even a brewery. You can take your drink of choice in a to go cup and walk the street. It is cool like that.

My husband always has to dress like a fool when we go. One year he bought all the kids gnarly teeth at the magic shop and they all pulled up their pants and walked around like this all day.

The motley nerd crew.
The motley nerd crew.

I know you all want him, but you can’t have him. He’s all mine.

Nice smile dude.
Nice smile dude.
Oh baby.
Oh baby.

This time he was fairly tame but wore his epic rasta socks. Jah lives.

Because life is too short to not wear Rasta socks in Fredericksburg.
Because life is too short to not wear Rasta socks in Fredericksburg.

A few of the shops are just plain weird. I found these gems in one. Baby heads…on stems no less. YOU figure this one out. The lady told me proudly “They are all handmade”. You betcha.  They look just like cut off baby heads and she had strange light directed towards them to make them extra special awesomely weird to gaze upon.  NEWS UPDATE: Halloween is not for another 2 months.

Baby heads.....on stems? Awesome weird.
Baby heads…..on stems? Awesome weird.
Baby heads?
Baby heads?

You are welcome! in advance for the nightmares.

We capped the day off with some excellent German food, cold beer.

Excellent, cold beer.
Excellent, cold beer.
German goodness.
German goodness.
Yum to the max babies!
Yum to the max babies!

My 16yo saw me taking food pics and said “Mom, food selfies? Might as well add some duck lips to it.” You got it! 2 birds with one stone babies.

Duck lips, food selfie.
Duck lips, food selfie.

Excellent pastries from Clear River finished off a really fun afternoon.

Baked goods from Clear River are the best!
Baked goods from Clear River are the best!

The End.

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Unplugged

One of the best things about being at the ranch is that our cellphone reception is for the birds. If you sit in a chair next to the wall of the house (metal roof), you can get a bar or two, but unless you are at the top of the ridge, fogetit. As a result, we are unplugged…which is a good thing.

It really allows us to unwind. Time spent here is quiet time. With no one around for literally miles, it is seclusion at its best.

We spend time running,

Trail running...my happy place.
Trail running…my happy place.

Taking walks,

He has his hands full with these two.
He has his hands full with these two.
Sunrise walk with the pups.
Sunrise walk with the pups.

Exploring the land and finding creatures….this is a ring tailed cat found in one of the old deer blinds on the property. Isn’t she pretty?

Ring-tailed cat
Ring-tailed cat
Ferns
Ferns
Spring fed creek on property directly below my in-laws
Spring fed creek on property directly below my in-laws
Spring fed creek.....sustains life during the drought.
Spring fed creek…..sustains life during the drought.
Rat snake.
Rat snake
Mia with the rat snake. She isn't afraid of much.
Mia with the rat snake. She isn’t afraid of much.
Huge Black Widow spider on the well house.
Huge Black Widow spider on the well house.

Driving the mule around to feed the deer, cows and goats…look who can finally reach the peddles.

She drives!
She drives!
Konas first ride in the mule.
Konas first ride in the mule.

Pure family time. With Cory having made the drive from college, we were complete.

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We need a bigger car

At the moment we are a two car family when it comes to road trips.

The dogs sort of tipped us over the edge. Trying to cram 3 kids and 3 dogs plus a hedgehog (that the wolf-dog would very much like to sample) into the truck would equal a sufferfest of epic proportions for all involved.

We are talking about a new car for Bill, and have rolled large vans around in the conversation. It will all depend on what we decide to do with our 5th wheel….do we keep it, trade it in for a TT or camper, or do we just sell it period. Keeping it would mean we would have to keep the truck as a tow vehicle, so I honestly see us trading it in for something smaller. But that is a whole other can of worms because Bill is just paralyzed about making a decision. I have no clue why…other than the fact that it would involve lots of work and his foot is not up tot he task. The money may also be a factor in his decision. That and the fact he wants a Jeep. Seriously. He keeps talking about a Jeep to drive around with the big dogs. We need a 12 seater van, not a 4 seater Jeep, but he does not seem to be bothered by this Small Detail.

Where was I? Oh! The two car road trip.

Bill, Quinn and Skye loaded up into the truck, and I brought Honey, Cody, Mia, Kona the poopy puppy and rat fink. It was a motley crew, dudes.

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Honey gets shotgun babies!  She will not have anyone usurp her rights as Queen.  Even Cody.  He said “The dog gets the front seat? Mom, that is wrong on so many levels”.  Dear Cody, this is all part of the Ladder of Authority.  Love, Mom.

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We stopped so many times during the 3 hour trip it was insane. Once to pee the puppy, another for Starbucks fraps, and at one point I pulled off the side of the road and ran into a cotton field and stole some cotton. Rebel yell!

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Mia said “OH EM GHEE MOM, THAT IS SOMEONE ELSES COTTON. YOU ARE SO EMBARRASSING”. This is the same child that counts our grocery cart items while in the express lane and says “We have one too many items for the 10 items or less lane. Move to the normal one now mom”. She follows all rules, except when it is her turn to empty the dishwasher.

We did eventually get there, and the dogs jumped out and immediately had a canine coronary with all the smells and animals milling around. After a life of being chained in someones backyard and abused, Skye’s senses were exploding with joy! Goats! Horses! Donkey! Deer! Cow poop! Deer poop! Donkey and horse poop!! LIFE IS AMAZING.

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It is everything a neglected dog never knew she always wanted.

To cap off a long day, that evening we all curled up in the den and watched day one of Shark Week.

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It was all the kids talked about prior to heading to the ranch. Somehow for the last few years we have ended up there during Shark Week, and they look forward to evenings watching shark attacks and scaring the Littlest Surfer Girl.

Go figure.

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Painting done, but still no pictures on the walls

The last couple of weeks have been very busy.  I finished painting while the kids were away, and it turned out awesome!

Everyone was very surprised to come in and see bright new, colorful walls.  We had been waiting for 7 years to get this color up there, and it was well worth it.

There are still no pictures on the walls.  (crickets chirping)

The crew came home for about a week after the paintfest and we all turned around and left on vacation.  The original plan was 2 weeks in Florida surfing and exploring, but with Bill’s foot not healed yet, we opted to go to the ranch instead.

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We had so much fun, and it was a very nice break for us.  When we go there, we are very isolated from everyday life.  It is way out in the boonies: 15 minutes from town, then down a long country road, then 3 miles through 5 cattle guards and gates. Like I said, it is way out there.  There is very sketchy cellular reception, so we enjoy the solitude of just being together as a family.

Today I am playing catch up and getting ready for the kids to go back to school, so pics etc about our vacation will be up mañana.  I have a picnic table and lights to buy, supplies to shop and organize for (shut up! I know this is last minute but summer liven’ was happening’ here and I could not even THINK about school), and a house to get in order.

Parting shot:

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The puppy found the floor vents were The Place Of Love at the ranch.  After a romp outside barking at deer, the miniature horse and donkey, and everything bark worthy (leads, twigs, lizards) she would plop herself right on the vent and her ears would float up, flapping in the cool air.  It’s a hard knock life.

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