To Thrive~

porch4     Well Hey there! Welcome to Our Front Porch! So glad You got a chance to spend sometime with Us today. Always a special treat for Us when Yall visit with Us at the Ranch. Hope Your Family is doing well and Your work week is going good.

It never fails Yall, with Valentines Day right around the corner I already see the signs of spring fever beginning. Even Yall City Folks know what I am talking about here…… a feeling of restlessness and excitement felt at the beginning of spring. Where You just get that antsy feeling. Momma always told Me to never make important decisions with spring fever. lol Like the time I wanted to become a blonde! She was right on that one for sure!

Jacob and tiny moonpie tiny moonpie   Jake just reminded Me I got to show Yall the newest edition to Our Family.  Yall please meet Tiny MoonPie (Jake and Grace picked the names). She came to Us from Mrs. Sharon’s place over in Camden. She is little right now but when She grows up She will be the Ranch’s Brood Sow. Hopefully bringing in some extra income with Her future litters come BBQ time. If Yall have ever lived on a Farm or Ranch like this one, Yall know everybody and every animal has a job or chore they are responsible for. Like We have two cats. They are responsible for keeping the mice, lizards and snakes away. Our Dog has the job of protecting Us as well as the other animals. The rabbits provided us with extra income as well as meat and fur and the chickens provide us with meat and eggs and I am sooo glad I don’t have to buy those old eggs from the grocery store anymore. Yall know that the eggs Yall buy at the store are sometimes 2 or 3 months old by the time they get to you? If You ever get the chance to buy some fresh farm eggs please do. You will taste the difference.

side of house     With spring coming Yall We are real excited around here. As soon as it warms up enough, We are getting ready to paint the outside of the house. I know that may not seem so exciting to some and its not like We are going to use some exotic looking color! I just love to see how good this old girl can look. I am just in awe sometimes thinking about all the good memories this old house has made in the last 100+ years. All the history She has been through too. Yall know its one thing to survive in life, its quite another to thrive in life. To live and grow and be the very best You can be. God is so good! He brought Us here to the Ranch to do just that. And even tho We have had several set backs, We know with Faith all things are possible.

74077_173888202637624_2769999_n     We hope Yall have a great week. Come back and visit with Us again real soon. Drop Us a note and let Us know how Everyone is doing!  ~Love from the Ranch~


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And the Wind changed….

Well Hey Everybody! Happy Ground Hog’s Day! So good to see Yall on Our Front Porch today! I have missed Yall so much. Hope You and Your Family are doing good and things are going well.

punx-phil     Punxsutawney Phil Did Not See His Shadow Yall. That means We have an early Spring coming! This is Leap year so We have Easter in March too. I can’t tell Yall how happy I am to see spring coming. It always fills Me with such hope.  For Me January is always kinda dreary. Its cold and this year was very wet.  We went thru a lot of firewood at the Ranch House.

sheila 6     We did get to celebrate Our sweet Sheila’s Birthday in January tho. We are All just so proud of the beautiful Woman She has grown up to be, inside and out. Happy Birthday Sugar! We love You Always!

duck eggs     We hatched out 3 cute as a button RIR bitties from Our hens in the chicken coop. We have a few Rouen Duck eggs in the incubator now.  I want to get a few goose and turkey eggs when they start laying, so if Yall know anybody that has geese and turkeys  send Us an email please and thank you.

With the end of the holidays season, decorations coming down, the cold and the rain and an even tighter budget than normal. January is always kinda dismal. Funny, since its the beginning of a brand new year. But as My Momma always told me… “the sun will come up, the wind will change and things will start looking better” She was a very smart Lady.

74077_173888202637624_2769999_n     Yall come back and visit with Us at the Ranch again soon. Always a treat to see Our Front Porch Friends. Stay safe and have a great week!  ~Love from the Ranch~


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Winter Time at the Ranch

74077_173888202637624_2769999_n     Hey Yall! So good to see Yall on Our Front Porch today. Hope Your week has been a good one. We are so glad You got the chance to spend some time with Us today.

heartquilt-210x225     Yall know, Winter does not necessarily mean time off for Farmers and Ranchers across the country. Although, We do take advantage of the longer hours of dark to catch up on the Ranch House chores inside. Its a great time for reading, sewing and crafts. And We love baking in the cooler months as well.

Snow Rabbit     We also have added chores like adding warmers for the water, salt licks, and extra bedding for the animals against the cold. This time of year Our rabbits breed for babies in time for Easter.  We have eggs in the incubator hoping for a good hatch for Our chicken coop so They will have eggs by this fall. The pen for Our new piglet still has a few things left to do on it before she comes to the Ranch at the end of this month.

How-to-Build-a-Greenhouse-493x328     We are planning a small vegetable garden.  And I have the flower beds in the courtyard I want to add some more color to. I have been dreaming of  a little greenhouse to start some seeds for the gardens. And We still have to work on the small pond. Always something to do.

side of house     And then there are always repairs and maintenance on the Ranch House and Buildings.  It takes some planning. Everyday I look around at what We need to do next and then at what We have to do to get it accomplished. My Momma always told Me anything worth having is worth working for. But Yall know We wouldn’t be anywhere else. Its a Labor of Love <3. And We are very fortunate to get to share it with all of Yall.

porch sit free     Thanks to All of Yall who read Our Blog, leave Us comments, drop Us emails and those that come out to the Ranch for Our Front Porch Friend’s Events. Its such a treat to part of Your lives and have Yall be part of Ours. Hope Yall have a great weekend!

Tell the Family We said Hey and Yall come back and visit with Us again this Tuesday.  ~Love from the Ranch~




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Winter Came….

     Hey and Howdy Yall! Thanks so much for dropping by and visiting with Us on Our Front Porch today.  So glad to see You. Hope Your family is doing good and Your week is going great. I know Yall have noticed….that cold winter weather that everyone was wishing for Christmas Day has finally come. At least it came in before the 12 Days of Christmas had ended. We got to see the Christmas lights in the colder air too. Unfortunately We start taking everything down after the 6th. Not looking forward to that but it has to be done. Each year We try to pack everything to make it easier to put back up next Christmas.

     Our little chicken eggs are doing well in the incubator. We candled them last Monday to see if they were fertile and I think they all were, so hopefully We will have a good hatch. I have to get the little nursery brooder ready for them. They will stay in that the first 2 weeks and then move to the big brooder Shawn built last spring, at the barn. We are all looking forward to the sweet little biddies getting here.

     We also have another arrival coming toward the end of the month. We have a sweet little piglet coming that will eventually grow into Our Brood Sow. The kids are all real excited about Her. This is a picture of Her with Her brothers and sisters. (She is one of the tiny white ones). We haven’t named Her yet, waiting till she gets here and then We can All decided.

     Shawn made Me a longer quilting frame. I remembered My Grandma Maola talk about putting hers on the back of her kitchen chairs to quilt. This gave Me the idea and so Shawn cut the wood for Me last weekend. The one I have been using was just a large lap frame. On this new one, I just roll the quilt up as I go and quilt it. This is gonna be good for making repairs on some of Our older quilts too. I already have one to repair on it and gonna try it out this week. It will also be great for Quilting Bee Parties. Maybe We can do some of those these Spring.

We have the fireplace going and the hot coco brewing! Yall stay cozy and warm and come back and visit with Us again this Weekend.  ~Love from the Ranch~

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Happy New Year Yall!

      Hey Yall! Welcome back to Our Front Porch! Glad to have You with Us here today. Its 2016 Yall! I can hardly believe it. At the Ranch, We are all so hopeful for this upcoming year. Last year We had a lot of ups and downs, but God is good and We believe that this Year is gonna be sooooo exciting, filled with God’s abundant Blessings!!

     Yall, We got to take a minute and wish Sue & Chris the best and much happiness in the years to come! They got married on New Years Eve Yall and I haven’t seen all the wedding pictures yet but so far it looks like Z’s Photography did an amazing job! Everything looked so pretty! We are All so very happy for this loving Couple.

     Yall I also wanna take a minute and thank My wonderful Family for all They have done these last few weeks I have been down with an injured side. Everybody has pitched in and I really appreciate everything. I am very lucky to have Them all.

     We put a new roof on the Diary House Yall. Shawn did a great job. We are gonna paint it next. This is one of My favorite things at the Ranch House. It is original to the house. I can just imagine it full of ice and goodies back in the day. We always have something going on around here. Another week and it will be time to start taking the Christmas decorations down. That always makes me kinda sad. But I look forward to dressing up the Ranch House for the next Holidays coming up too. In the meantime I got Jake to pull out My sewing machine. Think I am going to try and make Gracie a couple of skirts. I am gonna start working on My quilting too. I have a few quilt tops I can go ahead and put together. I will post some pictures for Yall when I get them done.

     And I gotta tell Yall, We have 11 eggs in Our Incubator! We are SO EXCITED Yall!! We have them marked with x’s and o’s so We can keep Them straight when We turn Them. And We have been talking to the eggs! lol We have the incubator set up in the Kitchen under the Pie Safe to keep them safe and warm.

     We hope this New Year brings each of You lots and lots of Joy and Happiness. We love All Our Front Porch Friends and Family.

     Yall come back and visit with Us again next week.  Tell Your Family We said Hi.  ~Love from the Ranch~



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12 Days of Christmas

     Hey Yall! And welcome to Our Front Porch! So glad Yall could drop in and spend some time with Us today. Hope Your 12 Days of Christmas are blessed. Ours sure have been so far. Yall know how much I love this ole Ranch House….well I love it even more when its filled with loving Family and good Friends. God is good!

  I got to show Yall this picture of Our sweet little Church. Its a small Church but its full of some mighty good people and We are so thankful to call many of Them Friends. I really loved the Christmas Wreathes on the Church’s Front Doors. My Momma could make the most beautiful wreathes and floral arrangements. Sadly though, She did not pass that talent on to Me. I am lucky enough to still have a couple of arrangements She did for Me. I sure do treasure them.

        I wanted to show Yall these pictures We took on Christmas Day too. The first is of the Christmas Full Moon. We took this one from the front steps of the Ranch House.  Looking at that moon sure filled Me with hopes for a good and Blessed upcoming year. The other is one of the beautiful Carolina Jasmine Vines We have blooming on the fence by the driveway. Yall know of course that this is Our State Flower, but not many folks know that All parts of this plant are very poisonous. The sap may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals. Deer and rabbits will not eat it.  I still cannot get over this weather and how warm its been. You know We are so lucky, We have many established flowers, trees and shrubs on the Ranch that have been here for many years. Like the beautiful Azaleas, Camelias, and Magnolias. If Yall follow Us on Pinterest, We have several Boards about the Ranch that cover the different Flowers and Shrubs We have here, as well some of Our favorite Recipes, Antiques, Projects and Hobbies, etc. You’ll see why We always have something going on around here too.

     Oh Yall! I got to show Yall what Shawn and the Kids got Me for Christmas. It has the forced air fan too! I am so excited! Yall know I was real upset when Our only broody hen, Checkers, fell prey to that sorry fox that was raiding Our chicken coop. We have 2 hens and Ashley (She is more of a pet) and They are such poor sitters. Well now We can hatch the eggs. We don’t have a turner so I have to turn the eggs daily myself, but I am NOT complaining. Shawn built Us a nice brooder last spring and We haven’t had the chance to use it yet. Maybe this time next year We will have enough laying hens to sell the eggs.

     Yall know a lot of Yall ask questions about the Ranch and the stuff We have goin on. We are always so happy to hear from Yall. Our Way of Life is very simplistic to some Folks. That’s true I suppose. Compared to some We are a bit old fashioned. Life is what You make it. And think how boring it would be if We were all exactly the same. When its all said and done, All any of Us can do is the best We can, and hope to make some really good lasting memories along the way.

Yall come back and visit Our Front Porch again real soon. Always a special treat to have You spend time with Us.   ~Love from the Ranch~

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Happy Merry Christmas Eve Yall!

  Hey Everybody. Since Terri is still recuperating from Her injured side. I decided to hijack Her Blog  (with her permission of course) and tell Yall what really happens around the Ranch on Christmas Eve……

A Visit from St. Nicholas  —  By  Shawn (Inspired by Mr. Clement Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and out at TilluRide Ranch,
the trees were all sparkling, on every branch;

Pretty stockings were hung by each chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

   The Family were nestled all snug in Their beds;
While visions of horses danced in Their heads;

And Mamma in Her cheetah, and I in My red johns with the flap,
Had just settled in early, We should’ve taken a nap,

When out in the barn there came a big clatter,
I jumped from My bed to see what was the matter.

Up to the window I stubbed My toe on the run,
Tore down the curtains grabbing My gun.

The light shinning down on the dew-fallen grass,
lit up the barnyard, the fields and the house.

   When what to My wondering eyes did appear,
But a great big wagon and group of huge deer,

   With a little old Cowboy so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment He must be St. Nick.

As swift as a race horse those reindeer They came,
And He whistled, and shouted, and called Them by name:

“Now, Mullet! now, Bubba! now Pounder and Enos!
On, Buddy! on, Skillet ! on, Cooter and Cleatus!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

Like the leaves that before the wild bucking bull fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the housetop the big deer they flew
With the wagon full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—

  And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each giant hoof.

As I prayed in My head, that the fire was just ash,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a crash.

He was dressed all in fur, from His head to His boot,
And His clothes were now tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of goodies He had flung on His back,
And He stumbled a moment as He put down His pack.

   For there by the chimney were cookies and milk,
but also a present of moonshine, smoooth as silk!

He slipped off a glove, pulled the cork with His teeth,
and He and I toasted one, two, eighteen.

His eyes— now they twinkled! His dimples, were merry!
His cheeks were like roses, His nose like a cherry!

His breath now smelled heavy, just like apple pie,
And He then tipped His hat and said I gotta fly”;

I got to get going, there still lots to do
I passed Him the jug and said this is for You.

He nodded a thank You and I let Him be
went back to the bed that held Momma and Me.

He spoke not a word, right busy was He,
And filled all the stockings; and then turned to the tree,

   He left gifts for Our Family, not one was forgot
He left something for All..   naughty or not.

Ole Jake got a slingshot
Sweet Grace got a shawl
Ashton a pocket knife
Little Landyn a ball
Sheila a necklace
and Taylor a coat
Lizzie mint jelly
and Momma a goat
And laying His finger aside of His nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney He rose;

He sprang to His wagon, and gave Them a yell,
And away They all flew like a bat outta hell.

But I heard him exclaim, ere He drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to Yall, and to All a good night!”

  Now your Daddy teared up, My eyes got all misty
for Santa had left Me 3 barrels of whiskey.


We’re Hoping Your Christmas is Joyous and Blessed !

Thank You for being a part of Our Front Porch Friends.

    ~From All the Ranch Family~

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Christmas is almost here Yall!

   Hey and a Very Merry Christmas Yall!! Its only two days till Christmas Eve Yall and at the Ranch House EVERYONE is all excited. I got a lot of pictures for Yall this visit. We have been busy, busy elves. This is Our favorite time of Year!

     We had a wonderful service at Church last Sunday. We had dinner too and its the first time I made my Christmas Mice for the Church Members. Didn’t They turned out so cute. Everyone loved these homemade chocolate covered cherries. And I also made a chocolate cake. It musta been good too cause there was none left to bring home. I am gonna make more for the Family on Christmas.

  We have been putting up Mistletoe tonight. Shawn shinnied up the oak tree this afternoon and cut a pretty bunch down. We already have it hung around the Ranch and We always have a basket in the Greeting Room to give to Visitors to take a piece home.

  Can Yall believe it. Its almost time for Santa.  And though He doesn’t leave presents for Us older folks, I still get excited thinking about how happy the Kids are gonna be. Gracie was so little when We got this Porch Santa She would try to kiss Him every time We went outside.

  This is the front door of the Ranch House. Love how the Porch trees look all dressed up for Christmas. This is one of My favorite places at the Ranch House cause its here We greet Our Family and Friends who visit.

  And this is the 12 ft. tree in the Gentleman’s Parlor. Everyone pitched in to finish decorating it. I think it turned out real good. I was so happy to get it up and finished. And very happy to get the presents wrapped and underneath it. Of all the trees at the Ranch, this is one of My favorites. On it hangs a lot of memories. On it I have all the ornaments 5 pairs of little hands made for Me thru the years. And when I look at those ornaments I still see the little faces of Sheila, Ashton, Taylor, Jacob and Gracie. What a blessing to have a reminder of the love of a child at Christmas.

  I got to show Yall Jake’s little Charlie Brown tree He did all by himself. Yall know how much I love Charlie Brown. It was an early Christmas present for Me and I just love it so much! He gave Me a real pretty poinsettia too. Thanks Jake! <3

Believe it or not, I still have Christmas Trees I haven’t put up pictures yet. lol But I think I got most of them. We have a guest Blog for Christmas Eve. So Yall be sure and check back in for that. We also have a Blog this Friday which is Christmas Day. Looking forward to visiting with Yall then.

Yall stay safe. Tell Your Family We said Hey and Heres hoping that this Christmas is extra good for Everyone!  ~Love from the Ranch~




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A little Blue Christmas…..

  Hey there and Merry Christmas Dear Front Porch Friends! So glad Yall took the time to stop by and visit with Us today! As I am writing this it is exactly 1 week before Christmas.

  Yall We have so much going on right now I feel like I’m in a whirlwind. But the funny thing is Yall every time I slow down I get a little Blue missing Our Family that is not here. Yall that have blended families understand what I mean. My parents divorced when I was 2, so I learned early that “the togetherness” was the important part, not the date on a calendar. Still its hard having holidays especially without the whole family. Today My thoughts have been on My (now long distance) Family..  Ashton, Lizzie, Landyn, Michael and Taylor. We love and miss Yall  so much and hope Christmas is magically wonderful for each of You!

  We still have presents to wrap and Santa’s cookies to bake. Shawn and Jake are gonna cut the mistletoe tomorrow.  Our Preacher dropped by the Ranch today for a visit. Love having friends by. Ms. Elaine stopped in for a minute too. We really are blessed to have such good neighbors.

  I got to show Yall this sweet little tree We have up in Our Sitting Room at the Ranch House. We put this one up in one of the rooms We spend the most time in. It is placed there in Honor of All Our Front Porch Friends! Yall mean so much to Us and We truly enjoy visiting with each of You. We hope You All are have a fabulous Christmas Time with Your Family and Friends. We have 1 more Blog visit before Christmas (Tuesday) and more pictures to post. Yall come back and visit with Us then!

~Love from the Ranch~

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A Green Christmas??

  Hey Yall! Welcome to Our Front Porch. So glad Yall took time to stop by and visit with Us today. I gotta say a big THANK YOU to both Jacob and Gracie for taking on the blog last weekend for me. I am still sore and trying to take it easy but feeling much better. Thanks also for all the “feel better” wishes and messages. Yall are so sweet.

Well this warm weather is not feeling too much like Christmas but We are All still in the Christmas Spirit around here. We got a lot of the front of the Ranch House decorated. Shawn shinnied Up the ladder and got the garland and bows on the upstairs windows done.  He and Jake worked on the courtyard. It is looking so good Yall.

  Here is a picture of Jake’s Christmas tree in His room. He usually has a 3ft tree but this year He wanted a big tree so We put up this 6ft one for Him. This tree We put up in memory of Jake’s Uncle (My Brother) Gregg Elliott. Gregg was at the Ranch everyday. He took up a lot of time with the kids. We All miss Him so much. He was truly the Ranch’s #1 Fan. Always helping Us anyway He could.

  We also put up this Christmas Tree in Gracie’s room. This year she wanted a white tree with lots of silver and gold decorations. This tree goes up in honor of the kid’s Meme, Brenda Gray and in memory of Their Great Granny Elease Gray. The kids love hearing Their Daddy talk about His Christmases and the White Christmas tree His Mom put up at His Granny Gray’s house when He was a little boy.

  It won’t be long till We start cutting the mistletoe. I am afraid if it stays this warm We won’t be able to cut it as early. It looks like a nice big bunch. I am hoping there is enough to decorate the mantles too.

There is still lots to do around here. I do hope You are enjoying this special Christmas time with Your Family and Friends. We have 2 more Blogs visits for Yall before Christmas gets here. Yall  make sure and come back and see Us. I will have more pictures and Ranch news to post. Stay safe!

Merry Christmas Yall !!      ~Love from the Ranch~

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