Thursday, September 29

Off to the 808...

Hubby and I are headed to the 808 early in the morning. For those who are not familiar with the 808, it's also known as Hawaii.  We are spending the next two weeks on the island of Molokai on a working vacation, yes, I did say working vacation. Hubby will be doing dentistry on the island and I will be hanging with my Hawaiian Monk Seal pal Diane monitoring seals. Can't wait to share photos with you.
My internet access will be limited the next 2 weeks, however I will try and touch base when I can.

val :)

Tuesday, September 27

Random shots...

just enjoying the ordinary....

can you find the dragonfly??

a feathered friend

my pretty girl

what's up??

caught with your mouth full Skippy!?!?


just life

still enjoying some color

Da Boyz got some yummy watermelon treats today

Monday, September 26


Pop go the milkweed pods! Today on our walkabout I found this beautiful milkweed pod that had just popped. A friend told me that the "old timers" used to use the silk like seeds from the milkweed for pillow stuffing, interesting ay??

Sunday, September 25

Fall in the Heartland...

 Hard to beat the beauty of fall in the Heartland
cool clouds

a dove

My  shot of the week...

Friday, September 23

checking in...

My apologies for not having any posts for the past week. I just returned from Florida last friday, had a full week of work and we picked up Ron's folks from the airport last night for their month long visit. It's a busy time around the ranch, more about that later.  I did manage to grab the camera and enjoy a wonderful stroll around the ranch this morning. Gosh, I was only gone a week, but the colors have sure changed.

the colors around the pond are changing

soybeans nearing completion



yes, the smell of fall is in the air
Enjoy this beautiful fall day....

Friday, September 16

headed back to the ranch...

Bags are packed and my Mom's "To Do List" is completed. Well almost, I wasn't able to get the scooter running, but I tried!!  It's in the mid 80's here in Florida and  I've been told it's cold or it least cooler back home on the ranch. I'll probably wish I had long pants and a coat once I arrive in Omaha.

Did want to share two things with you today.
1. I finished another animal story while at mom's. It is called "Dewey" by Vicki Myron. It's about a cat that was abandoned in a book drop at the library in Spencer, Iowa. The cat becomes a permanent fixture at the library and helps the author and  a community heal. Here is  an excerpt from the book and I think you will get the jest of the message that is shared through out the book
"Find your place. Be happy with what you have. Treat everyone well. Live a good life. It isn't about material things; it's about love. And you can never anticipate love."

So check your local library for the book and maybe you'll even find a cat too.

2. God  really does have a sense of humor....found these "oreo" cows not far from mom's house. So fun!!

 So enjoy everything around you and give thanks for ALL of your blessings.

P.S. can't wait to see my hubby and my girlz

Dewey...the cat that touched the world.

Oreo Cows...actual name is Belted Galloway Cattle.
Love God's touch.
 Val :)

Sunday, September 11

Reflecting on 9/11

Today my mom and I  spent some time at Florida National Cemetery near Bushnell, Florida. This is my dad's final earthly resting spot. With thousands of service men and women buried here, it is a very sobering place to visit. As I strolled around the grounds looking at all the grave markers I was overwhelmed by the shear number of men and women who have served and protectecd our great country---many giving the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

the entrance to Florida National Cemetery

my dad's marker..George Eschenbacher

the bell tower...3 beautiful songs played while we visited today

some of the 1000's of grave markers

long may she wave....
 As we remember 9/11 and all those that lost their lives in NYC, at the Pentagon and on that field in Pennsylvania, we must also remember all those men and women (over 6000) who have fought the enemy on foreign soil these past 10 years so that we can be "free"  God Bless the USA

Saturday, September 10

Miniature Zebu Cattle Farm...

I am visiting my mom in central Florida and we found this "little" cattle farm near Ocala. The owners, John and Kathleen Schmidt have approximately 40 head of miniature Zebu cattle. We spent over an hour at the farm learning about these special cattle. On "The Other Side Farm" when calves are born they weigh approximately 23 lbs. and they are taken from the cow immediately after birth and then bottled feed 2-3 times a day until they are weaned at 4 months. The reason they are taken from the cow is so that they are more tame and social--thus they are imprinted with humans.These cattle remind me of big dogs! As adults they weight approximately 200-300 lbs.  They had one calf that was just 2 weeks old and followed John everywhere. In fact he could hardly walk with all the younger calves trailing behind him. They are all named, such as: April, Mae, June, Dottie, Edgar etc... The cattle on this farm are raised and sold as pets and show animals, NOT for consumption!
Maybe we should consider raising Zebu cattle on the Bloy Ranch!!

So if you are ever in central Florida and are looking for a new experience please check out "The Other Side Farm" you will not be disappointed.
Sign at entrance to farm

love this driveway!!

the newest calf--2 weeks old

John and the new calf

this little gal loved to lick

 a little shy

cow that is due to calf next week

just hanging at the water cooler!!

this one is just a bit bigger than my Schatzie

Bye for now....

Monday, September 5

Hummingbird 411

I had originally planned to post photos of our Labor Day activities, but due to a late developing story I decided to show you a few photos of our hummingbirds. During a brief break from our project I grabbed the camera and headed to the hummingbird feeders. I am trying to get the perfect shot and while I believe I acquired a couple I'm still trying. Anyhow, there were 4 hummers buzzing the feeder as I was snapping away and I noticed that one hummer didn't have any tail feathers. It doesn't seem to impede his flying, however it did appear that the others were "picking" on him/her. I don't know if that is really the case or not since they are so darn fast. I was curious about the situation and contacted a man named Lanny at  He runs a website just about hummers, so I posed the question to him and here is his answer."The hummer has probably lost his tail feathers to a predator, probably a cat. Tail feathers are loosely attached, so the cat probably got a mouth full of feathers and the bird escaped with his life. The feathers will grow back in a couple weeks, and the temporary loss won't impair the bird's life too much." 
So there you have it, a lesson learned about hummingbirds.
Here are a couple of shots of the birds today. I will continue to snap away, who knows maybe tomorrow I'll get that perfect shot. Remember you can double click on the photo for a large image.

taken this morning, tail feathers intake on this hummer.

Here's  the little guy with no tail feathers.

Look at the acrobats, love the one on the feeder

air traffic controller needed...
Val :)

I wonder if...

these boots come in YELLOW????
Good grief..the things I have to endure!
Okay, got a busy day planned here on the ranch, so I will check in later.

Gracie :)

Sunday, September 4

just cuz....

Happy Labor Day Weekend!!

It's time to kick up your heels...
come on everybody just do it!!

Catch ya all tomorrow....

Gracie :)

Friday, September 2

Good Morning Sunshine...

Good Morning Everybody, 
We woke to a wonderful sunrise, watched the hummingbirds feed,
 took our walkabout and found a creature. 

Good Morning Sunshine...

Looks like a tiny jumbo jet

Such grace

Yes, you see 3 hummers 


The "creature" big old snapping turtle headed to the pond or creek--
don't know which way he's headed, but I'm stirring clear ;)

Gracie :)