Thursday, June 4, 2015

Welcome to "Ranch Dressing"

On August 25, 2009 we moved to this five-acre paradise and named it "Chestnut Pinto Ranch." We needed to bring our horses (chestnuts and pintos) onto the property before the first snow but there were no stalls, no shelters, no paddocks and no fences. What follows are stories, poems, photos, videos, and ramblings on dressing up the ranch, not only for horses, but for our comfort and good old fashioned country living.


A huge "Thank You" to writer, Sherri Hoffman, who used
my scattered bits and pieces to assemble this beautiful blog.

                                                  Please enjoy the various words, images, and voices.

Monday, June 1, 2015


To the right are videos of: "The Crabs of Vũng Tàu," the first section of my Non-Fiction piece published in Crab Orchard Review, a piece from The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy, a recipe, four poems, and a speech from Shakespeare.  From top to bottom:

"When the Frost is on the Punkin" by James Whitcomb Riley

  • "The Crabs of Vũng Tàu"
  • A page from The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
  • Brian's recipe for porridge (one he's used, in one variation or another, for 40 years).
    • To read the complete recipe click on "Ranch Recipes" above.
    • This recipe was entered into the 2012 Bob's Red Mill "Spar for the Spurtle" contest. 
      • Was not one of the three finalists.
      • Bummer!
  • Hamlet's speech to the players from Hamlet by William Shakespeare  
  • "The Black Horse" by Archie Fisher
  • "When the Poet Goes to Indiana" by Mary Oliver 
  • "A Barred Owl" by Richard Wilbur
Please feel free to comment or make requests.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

2015 Garden

The Garden has matured in four years.


Rock Garden

Hood Strawberries with asparagus coming
in the next raised bed.

Garlic & Oreganum

Ever bearing Strawberries, Walla Walla Sweet onions, Garlic & Brussels sprouts
Zucchini, crookneck squash, butternut squash, pumpkins, & corn


The Zucchini, crookneck, butternut squash, pumpkin and corn.

The strawberries & asparagus producing for 2016 (notice the color of the grass,
it's been a HOT summer.)

Some of the Harvest:

Brussels sprouts

First Hibiscus bloom

Butternut squash ripe in August.  Amazing!
Indigo Rose Tomatoes
September, chilly nights

Garlic, Red onions, Shallots, Walla Walla Sweet onions

Saturday, August 16, 2014

2014 Garden

Upper Garden
Shade Garden,  with fountain.  New in 2014.

A horse in the garden too.

Birdhouse brought us a family of chickadees

Mansfield visit, 2014

Front of House, 2015

Front of House, 2009

Monday, November 4, 2013

Grounds Keeper

Store the coffee grounds
add the coffee grounds to the mulch bin

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ranch Bird House

A birdhouse at Wilco for $70.  I thought, "I could make one of those for $10."

Lumber was free from my neighbor but it was too narrow so I glued
it together and nailed a backing to the two pieces.

Birdhouse completed.  Now to build a platform for the pole.



And now the tenants are occupying their new home.  Mom at the doorway and dad outside.  

Close up 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Replaced the clogged drains for the barns

After digging the ditches, pulling out old pipe, digging a dry well about halfway to China, pouring in 1/4 minus gravel in the ditches to set the new pipe on, laying the pipe, filling the ditches with river rock, and then adding 3/4 minus gravel, we have working drains.

New horse barn drain

New drain for the horse barn and feed barn.