Saturday, May 26, 2007

California Trip - Day 4

Friday - May 18th, 2007
See! I have pictures!!

Exhausted from the day before, I slept until PC woke me up at 7. Dolly and Sir were still sound asleep, so PC and I slipped out of the bedroom and sorted through our luggage again. We were creating so much laundry that I needed to start thinking about getting some washed. Since the auction in Cottonwood wasn't going to start until 10:30, we had time and I didn't rush to get ready. We snacked on animal crackers and grapes while we waited for Dolly to wake up. Once she was up, we got dressed and headed in to the big house. Bells and her siblings had already left for school so we had our breakfast with Aunt A as she finished her own.

I finally had to go wake Sir up since we had planned on making a few stops before getting to the auction yard. While he got ready to go, the kids and I played on the swing set as soon as I finished repacking the diaperbag. We actually got on our way around 9:30 which I thought was pretty good. Our first stop was a feed store. We wanted to price some fly repellent medication to put on our crippled cow. We also wanted to show our little ones the baby chicks that were for sale. PC loved it and if the bin had been any smaller, he would have climbed right in with them. It was a little disappointing that the sign said not to pick the chicks up. The kids would have been thrilled had they been allowed to touch them.

From the feed store we headed straight for the auction yard. Within minutes we had found a comfortable spot to see the cows go through from and settled down to watch our kids enjoy the experience. They loved it! PC almost hung over the seat back in front of us in his excitement - bidding for all he was worth. It was a good thing the auctioneer didn't take him seriously since some of the animals going through were bringing some pretty hefty prices!
Dolly really lit up when for some weird reason the program shifted and instead of only cattle like usual, they started running some miscellaneous animals through. I deeply regret not taking pictures of that, but it was so much fun to watch Dolly's excitement that I completely forgot the camera. The worst part was, it was sitting right beside me in the diaperbag the whole time. They ran a pair of Yorkshire sows, a couple goats, half a dozen baby goats, some Suffolk sheep, two sorrel horses, and one other horse was led through on a halter and lead. By the time I remembered the camera it was back to just cattle again. So, I took a few pictures of the different colored cows that went through and grabbed a shot of my kids stuffing themselves on Cheetos to hold them off until lunch.

Just as we were about to go for a late lunch, Mr.&Mrs. Rancher showed up. They're the ones who acted as my second set of grandparents at our wedding and they had hauled the cattle for us the evening before. We said 'hello', watched the cows for a few more minutes, packed up the kids and diaperbag and headed downstairs to the little auction yard restaurant. Once lunch was out of the way, we headed back into the auction area to watch for the cattle we were selling. Mr.&Mrs. Rancher headed out for their own lunch a few minutes later, and we settled our kids down to rest - and to take naps if they could. PC fell asleep right away and had a pretty decent nap, but the noise of the auction was a bit too much for Dolly and the best she could do was to doze on and off for a few minutes. To our surprise my mom and C showed up around 3pm and they joined us for a little while. We had only seen seven of the fifteen head of cattle from the ranch run through by that time.

After a while I remembered my ring at the shop and went in search of a payphone. I called the jewelery shop and found out that the ring was ready for pick-up. Since Sir wanted to stay and watch for the cows, I asked my mom if she wanted to come with me and the kids while I retrieved my ring. She was happy to, so we packed the kids off to the car and drove up to Redding. On our way back to Cottonwood, we grabbed some ice cream cones at a drive-through. My mom had to get going since she needed to get the car back to the ranch in time for my dad to leave for work at 5:30, so as she left I ran down to the 'seller's' window to see if the rest of our cattle had gone through. Sure enough, they had and somehow we had missed them. Probably while we were eating lunch. That was a little frustrating because if they had gone through while we were eating lunch, we had wasted about an hour and a half after the last of our cows had gone through.

Once we picked up the auction cheque, we packed up the rest of our stuff and headed out to the ranch. On our way we stopped at a gas station to toss our leftover ice cream cones and the rest of the garbage we'd been accruing since we arrived in the area. My dad had already left for work by the time we got to the ranch, but he was scheduled to be off work the following day so we were hoping to actually get to see him then. Sir did the calculations necessary to figure out how much of the auction cheque was what our cattle had earned and then turned it over to my mom who headed in to town to cashed/deposit it.

Realizing that supper was going to be late again, we decided to head into town ourselves. Dolly had gone through more diapers than I had planned and would need more by the next day. We also decided to get at least a snack for the kids and another flashlight since we hoped to stay later and visit with my family that evening. We did all of our errands and got back to the ranch long before my mom got back. That was nice because we didn't waste time we could have been visiting with her and we got things done that we would have had to put off for the following day which we were planning to spend just visiting with family.

We hadn't been back at the ranch long before my sister Renée showed up. She had been over at the neighbor's and had left her son with my brother to visit for a bit. When we had arrived Wednesday we were told she was down in the central valley visiting a friend and wouldn't be back in the North-state until Friday. After giving each of our kids a present, Renée turned around and went back to get her little boy. Cole was rather shy and he hardly said a word the whole time we were there. He did play with our kids a little before it started getting late and I brought them inside while I hunted something up for them to eat. Before we went inside, I got a few pictures of Cole and his cousins. None of them turned out very well, but at least they're better than nothing at all!

While the kids got to know each other a little, my mom had C start up the barbecue again. We were having more ribs for dinner, but it would be a while before they would be ready so Sir and I started putting one of the cribs together. We wanted the option of putting our kids down for bed and being able to stay later and visit. Constructing the crib took longer than we thought it would and I had just barely tucked our little people into bed when supper was served at 10. The meal was a lot more chaotic than I found enjoyable, but I'm sure part of the frustration was due to the millions of bugs that kept slipping in to beat themselves against the lights each time someone opened the front door. When we had finished our supper, Sir and I went outside to calm down, relax and enjoy the cool air and star-filled sky. It was bittersweet to look back at past memories, but memories are part of the visit each time we go back.

Since it was getting late and most of the kids had disappeared - Renée had left Cole with my mom to put to bed while she dropped her friend Joe off at his house, C drove my brother back over to the neighbor's house, and I have no idea where Liz disappeared to - we spent a few minutes with my mom before packing our little ones up and heading back to the cottage. Thankful that the day had been profitable and that we wouldn't have to worry about the cattle any more, we looked forward to spending the rest of our vacation with nothing but spending time with family planned. Although it was after midnight when we finally welcomed sleep, it was definitely worth it to be able to get some rest!


  1. <yawn>

    See... no comments.. everybody's bored.

    Either that, or they're so bored from your last posts, that they completely stopped reading your blog.. :P

  2. That Cole is one cute kid. Wow, what a blondie. Looks like your kids a little bit in the eyes. Like Dolly maybe?

    What a busy time, I can't believe you ate dinner at 10 pm. Wow.

  3. Thanks for all the pictures - I enjoyed them. These posts have really been bringing back memories of all the days I spent at the ranch with Sir. Those were fun times for me! :)

  4. Oh the auction...and those hamburgers...none better. Glad the kids could enjoy with you. Hope the sale was profitable, at least adequate. Please keep on with day 5...I'm looking forward to it. I feel the same way as Sir, who bothers to read anyway?