Monday, April 7, 2014

The Rest of the Story

The second half of March seemed to fly by.  A few sprinkles of rain brought out the wild plum blossoms, and the bluebonnets were starting to raise their heads.

On Saturday, March 15, to celebrate our 17th anniversary, John and I made a rainy-day trip to Red Caboose Winery.  We didn’t get as much rain at the farm as we had hoped for.  However, we didn’t mind at all driving through the countryside and seeing the trees and grasses washed clean of their layer of wintertime dust.  

Red Caboose has its vineyards and production facility just outside the town of Meridian.  They have planted a number of varieties, but are most optimistic about their temperanillo grapes.  We tasted half a dozen of their wines, and came home with several bottles, including a lovely tawny port.   

While visiting with the Meridian location, we chatted with Winemaker and Vineyard Manager Gary McKibben and enjoyed the antics of the winery dog, a Border Collie who looks a lot like Nickie and had as much fun playing in the rain and fetching sticks as Rue does. 

After making our selections, we drove a few miles into Clifton, Texas, to visit the second Red Caboose location where the bottling takes place.  In honor of soon-to-be-celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, we sampled a corned beef and sauerkraut panini and a bottle of the very good Range Rider wine.  (Well, we didn’t finish the whole bottle…at least not until we got home.) We also got to meet the owner of Red Caboose, Gary McKibben, and visit with him about the founding of the winery.  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…..  We discovered that the indian paintbrushes were starting to bloom.  They come in several shades of pink and orange, and ours tend to be more pink.  They were growing alongside the not-so-welcome prickly pear, which thrives under almost any condition.  

John broke out the sprayer and poisoned as many of them as he could.  We did this last year, and were pleased that we now have fewer cacti and more grass in those areas.  We hope to get another good kill this year.

We made a short trip back to Austin on March 22 so I could check in on Monday with my eye doctor.  He was pleased with my progress, and expects to know in a week or two exactly what correction we achieved with the surgery.

Then, just before coming back to Austin, John and I took advantage of a cool and cloudy Friday to burn the many brush piles we made during our stay.  In just a few hours, the huge piles of cedar and oak were reduced to ashes and glowing coals.  

There are still a number of dead trees near our upper stock pond that will need to be felled and burned later.  Here a couple of them stand silhouetted against the threatening sky.  (Unfortunately, all it did was threaten.  We still need rain in the worst way.)

We finished our month at the farm in the company of family and friends.  My cousin, Kathy and her husband Eric arrived on Saturday with their horses, Radius and Savvy.  

Radius is a Dutch Warmblood, 

and Savvy (full name Cow Savvy) is an American Quarter Horse and an experienced cutting horse.  

Both, however, are wonderfully patient.  My niece and her family joined us for the weekend, and Noah and Rachel spent more time in the saddle than on the ground.  

Rachel was also very much into helping take care of Savvy, and he was very gentle with her.

We also got to meet the newest member of the family, a wonderfully bouncy puppy (perhaps labradoodle, perhaps something else) named Clover.  

And if that wasn’t enough fun, on Sunday evening John and I joined a number of my high school classmates for dinner at El Jardin Mexican Restaurant.  John and Sonny went back to spend the night at the farm while several of “the girls” checked into The Inn at Circle T for an old-fashioned slumber party.  We had a great time visiting, and were kind enough not to take photos of each other in our pajamas.

On Monday, all of us attended the “Spring Fling” where Classmate Sue Kopp was part of the program highlighting (Don’t Mess With) Texas Women.

And classmate Irene (Cindy) Sandell spoke to the group about her latest novel, The House on Swiss Avenue.  

Of course, the pre-schoolers with their Easter presentation were show-stoppers as well!

It was a great end to a great month.  We hope to repeat it next year...but maybe in April when the weather is a bit more seasonable and the flowers in bloom.

No comments:

Post a Comment