Wow, so I have been MIA and need another catch up post….actually a few.  Life really went into overdrive in August and then Cory left us for college and I honestly just was not up to the task of blogging. It is a strange thing when one of your children leave the nest.  It is a loss and I spent 2 weeks concentrating on recovering from it and helping my family make the transition.  But more about that later.  First up, our retreat from the world and into the wilderness of Texas.

We loaded the car…kids, bags, dog… with relief at finally getting away from everything for a bit.


After several hours we were greeted by the familiar view that each and every time blows us away. Sky meets Texas in an explosion of white, blue, green and gold. Instagram just doesn’t do it justice.


Animals that we have come to know and love find their way to greet us, and family wraps us in their loving arms.  Contentment is what happens at the ranch.


We had about 6 days to unwind and rest together as a family and I would not be honest to say that it was perfect in every way.  I was pretty much a high strung mess for the first few days and difficult to be around. I just could not get the thought of my sons looming departure out of my mind.  Seriously, mom blues had set in and taken a hard grip on my mind.

Luckily that kind of mood just can’t hang when you have views like this.



Sunsets and sweet memories.


Once the kids went off to the house for the night, Bill and I enjoyed some quality time with Jenny the donkey.


On a side note….Nights here are utterly black.  There are no street lights, no cars or the glow from the windows of homes.  Nothing.  Star gazing is insane here and if you take a walk at twilight, you have to bring a flashlight or it is tough to find your way on the paths.   It is the wild west for sure.


Mia loves Jenny.


Honeys favorite place in the world is basically wherever we are, but the ranch is for sure a place she adores.  She loves going bye bye in the mule.


Bill and I got to do some great long rides through the country together which was pretty much what I needed to settle down.  It was so incredibly beautiful rolling through the hills together like we used to, once upon a time before kids.



The hill from hell.  Billy made it up the first try.  It doesn’t look like much (the image does not show the steepness), but you have to trust me when I say it is pretty much straight up and a real bear to climb.  Gasping for breath at the top, Bill could just shake his head in wonder at how tough it was to crest.  It took me 3 days to conquer this bitch, but on the last day I finally crested it without stopping.  I was seriously not going to leave until I did it, so there is a testament to my stubborn will.  IMG_0223

Off roading on the property….this was an easy section.


Tractor work.  My inlays clear the land and haul rocks all over.  My FIL is closing in on 80 and MIL in her 60’s.  It has really kept them young in body and mind.



This is Bucky.  He’s a little deer that has decided to follow everyone around.  He comes so very close to us and Mia can almost feed him out of her hand. Precious.



We didn’t spend much time hunting arrowheads, but I did find this scraper one afternoon.



They have lots of goats on the ranch, and have raised many a baby by hand.


We took a day trip to wander our old stomping grounds and find some solitude on the Llano river.  Words cannot express how much I miss this kid.


Family protrait.  Complete with Dad photo bombing it.  This just might have to be on our Christmas card this year. LOL!


But not this one. It was 10,000 degrees out and I was trying to get the family to cooperate.  Not. That, right there, is the Frown Family portrait.


Our secret spot…Best pizza on the planet, no doubt.  We stop here every time we come and they never disappoint.


I take my showers outside at the ranch, butt naked.  Not a soul around and only the curious eyes of the deer.  While showering I watch the twilight come alive, with bats flitting about and the moon peeping from the trees.  It is beyond breathtaking and the wildness of this place is never more evident.


We have a dear friend who lives on the ranch (it is quite large with several divided sections of land that are homesteaded) near us with his wife.  His family is the original homesteaders of the property.  The arrowheads in the pic below had been in a shoe box since way before LB Johnson died.  Our friend and his children had found them together when LBJ had Lake LBJ drained so he could build a pier on his lake property. He had shown them to me on the last visit and I suggested he frame them. He was really excited about the idea and asked if I could do it for him.

My SIL and MIL bought the frame for him and on this visit I decided I needed to get them mounted. I felt an urgency to get it done….a voice saying “Don’t procrastinate on this one. Do it now”.  I finally found a day at the end of our stay and was able to make a pattern, get it assembled and finished.



He absolutely loved it and we found a place to hang it in his home at the ranch.

A week later he got very ill and passed away.  Sometimes, you just have to listen to that voice…that precious voice that whispers in your ear and without revealing details, gives you a glimpse into the future.  That kind, gentle hand that pushes you to do things and gives you a reprieve from regret.

I try to listen to that voice when I hear it, but there are times when I push it to the back burner and say “Later. I just can’t find the time today”.  I am so very thankful that this time I listened.

Always be aware of it my friends.


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4 Responses to Retreat

  1. Kriste says:

    What a beautiful ranch! So glad you got to get away!

  2. Leeann says:

    So very nice to hear from you on your blog.

    I too launched a bird from my nest a few weeks ago and it was difficult for all of us. She seems to be getting happier and more settled all the time and I’m grateful for that.

    Lovely pictures of your summer and your family.

    • Jody says:

      Leann thank you! (((HUGS))). iT is really hard. But it is as it is supposed to be!! Just tough on the momma hearts.

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