Snow, Buckaroo joins the family, It’s a boy – 10 tons & 14′ 6″ long


We haven’t communicated in, umm, several months. Tempus fugit.

It seems like only a couple of months ago we returned home from traveling last summer. It is always a joy to leave for new adventures and always a joy to return to the little ranch God has provided us.

So many things have transpired since our last entry.

It has been a long, cold and wet winter. Thanks to the cyclic weather phenomenon called El Nino, we had a very wet fall and winter, both frozen precipitation, and

Snow in the Hill Country!

Pretty in white!

liquid. We have had 1) rain, 2) sleet, 3) snow 4) frozen fog, and 5) pea sized hail at various times over the last few months. We are NOT complaining about the precipitation. We also have five to seven year periods of not much moisture, so we graciously accept the mud, the dirty vehicles, and the cold weather (but there is a little grumbling at times nonetheless….)

Moving along to some geekey things, John uses the winter for indoor projects. On the short list was to totally rebuild a couple of websites he created initially and maintains. John’s favorite web editing software, Adobe GoLive was an ‘end-of-life’ product so John finally decided it was time to move on to a current Adobe product called Dreamweaver. After a couple of weeks worth of on-line video training, he dove in and got the job done. The first effort was a remake of the sudansouth web site (the missionaries in Southern Sudan), the second effort was a complete rebuild of the Friends of Grayson Highlands State Park web site.

He built another web site for nephew Jason’s wife (Christine) that turned out okay as well.

He has had an objective of totally rebuilding the web site, but it is like the cobbler’s children not having shoes – he can’t seem to make the time to work on

Our dear neighbor on the other side of the fence to the north finally sold the property. The neighbors were divorced a year or two ago and Marjorie was able to stay in the house until it was sold. It was a bittersweet moment to see the storage pod for the new owners dropped off today after closing. We all need to move on and it was with great delight and anticipation we met our new neighbors today. They seem nice and John was happy to find out the fellow was a woodworker.

Buck’s new “house and yard”

Marjorie endowed us with her pet axis deer (Buckaroo or ‘Buck’ is now in his new home) and her two pet whitetail deer are still in their high-fenced pen on her old property which she wanted on our property. Buck and the whitetail does are used to being around each other, so we don’t know how that’s going to work out. The whitetails were not interested in being walked around to our property. Speaking of Buck, we completely redid the fencing and gates in most of our catch pen and Buck has a pen of about 60 feet by 120 feet (I think this was the size of the lot of our first house!) It took the fence guys about three days to redo the enclosure and they had to build ten gates.

Buckaroo the axis deer

Buckaroo the axis deer

So what’s this about a 19,000 pound boy!?

John has wanted a bulldozer for a couple of years and has been reading and investigating and watching the classified ads and even made an offer a year ago on a dozer about 45 miles away. The dozer is the ultimate guy toy but it is more than a toy – it will be another useful hand around our little ranch. This dozer was purchased from an Internet auction ( and the inspector’s report about the condition (and 50+ pictures) was very accurate. John is thrilled to have another piece of useful equipment on the property.

Glamor picture of the Komatsu dozer

Glamor picture

For those interested, the dozer is a 1999 Komatsu D39P-1, 90 HP turbo diesel, three forward, three reverse speeds, only 1246 hours of use. Joystick steering and a joystick to control the 9′ 3″ wide blade. It is interesting to note the blade on the front of the dozer weighs about 2,200 pounds, about 400 more pounds than his Kubota tractor.

Sorry about such a long time between updates 🙁 May God bless and a fair wind and a following sea to our friends and loved ones…

Jane and John