2017 in the Rear View Mirror

Happy New Year!

What a fabulous year Willy had! Here’s to a new year with more incredible adventures ahead! With the new year comes new opportunities. Make them count! That is Willy and my resolution, to make our moments, our days, every adventure count by cherishing our loved ones and “taking it all in.” We want to let those moments capture our hearts, take our breath away, and truly live and be present in each moment we have with those we love. With the New Year, Willy and I have decided to try something new. We are going to change the frequency of this blog to twice a month instead of every week; at least through the winter.

Now sit back and scroll through Willy’s 2017 memories. Willy and I picked out some of our favorite photos to share with you. Enjoy!

 

 

Christmas Time is Here

It’s the most Wonderful time of the year!

Willy LOVES Christmas, and well, so do I. So many things make it the most wonderful time of the year – the music, the lights, the decorations, the tree, the joy of giving, the food and time spent with family and friends. Mostly though, it is reflecting on and celebrating the fact that the God who created the universe stepped out of heaven, born as a baby in a lowly manger, to redeem us. Mind blowing how anyone could love me THAT much! It is our family tradition to read Luke 2:1-20 from the Bible every Christmas morning. Do you have any favorite traditions?

Deck the halls! Willy really got into the Christmas spirit this year! He wanted to help decorate. I think he decorated himself more than he did anything else!

Willy even played Santa’s helper and filled a stocking.

Typical Willy style, he has to approach the holiday with finesse! He loves to dress up, even if it is just a silly, glittery Santa hat.

Willy helped me with the gifts as well. He even got a gift for someone special. He told me it was a box full of kisses. I wonder who it is for?

Willy’s gift to all of you is a prayer for a healthy, happy, Christmas spent with those you love. Make memories! Cherish those you love! Make new friends! But above all else, remember the reason for the season.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

 

 

Willy – the Jedi Knight

Willy may be shorter than Yoda but he ROCKS the Jedi robe!

Willy likes to pretend. He has quite the imagination too!  Though he be little; he be a skilled Jedi Knight – in his dreams anyway. He is ready to defeat the forces of the dark side.

When Rusty heard the Willy wanted to “play” Star Wars, he was all for it! Of course, Rusty HAD to be Chewbacca. After all, Chewy is his favorite character. Rusty rocks his costume too!

Sadie usually doesn’t join in Willy’s wild imaginative games, but this time she really wanted to play along. Who else would Sadie be but Princess Leia! I mean she already thinks she should be royalty. Isn’t she beautiful?

In Willy’s version of Star Wars, Willy the Jedi wins over the heart of Princess Leia, not Hans Solo. A guy can dream, right?!

Chewy and Willy joined forces to help the Alliance defeat the Empire’s evil plot to take over the universe. They look pretty heroic, don’t they?

Willy has the BEST friends a dog could ever have! These three have literally grown up together. Rusty and Sadie both have birthdays this week, they turn 2. Willy thought this was an awesome way to celebrate his two best friends’ birthdays. I think he was right!

Until next time, May the Force be with you!

 

 

Thumbs Up!

Willy and I hiked a Prescott landmark trail up Thumb Butte.

I grew up with this Prescott Landmark practically in my back yard. However, I never hiked up it all those years. I recently put it on my bucket list of trails for Willy and I to conquer.

There are two ways you can hike this 2.5 mile trail. If you go to the left your first .75 miles is paved but extremely steep. Willy and I opted to take the trail to the right like the nice person who took this photo suggested.

 

The trail is well maintained and loops around at a gradual incline to the base of the rocks. I think we made a good choice taking the path to the right.

It was a gorgeous day for a hike. We enjoyed hitting the trails before the busyness of the holidays and while the weather was still nice.

There were plenty of places to stop and rest along the trail. We took our time and enjoyed the fresh air and scenery along our way.

The trail winds through the oak brush, pinon pines and even some prickly pear cactus toward the back side of the butte.

We made it to the top! Another hiker was nice enough to take our picture at the trail summit. Yes, to truly go to the top of Thumb Butte we would have had to scale the boulders behind us like some of the hikers were doing. Willy and I, however, were completely satisfied with calling the summit good enough.

At the summit there is an informal memorial dedicated to our beloved 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.  The movie, “Only the Brave”, was made about these brave men.

We locals lost so much when we lost these men. There are very few of us who were not impacted in a very personal way through this tragedy. Clayton Whitted (top row 3rd from the left) was very dear to our family’s hearts. He was a youth group leader at our church and impacted so many lives in a positive way, including our daughter. This little memorial was an unexpected surprise. We paid our respects then headed down the steep 3/4 mile trip to the bottom.

 

From the top down the trail is paved with plenty of rails to stop and enjoy the gorgeous view and at the bottom is this revolving gate. Willy was fascinated with it.

Of course, everywhere we go Willy makes a new friend. Everyone loves Willy and Willy loves everyone!

Another wonderful day spent doing what we love!

Happy Thanksgiving

Willy is thankful every day of the year!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope you all did as well. The weather was unseasonable warm so Willy got lots of exercise after eating some turkey.

Thanksgiving is traditionally the day to give thanks for your blessings, but Willy and I think that we should be thankful for our blessings every day of the year!

We enjoyed a full Thanksgiving dinner with all the traditional favorites and then it happened! Willy and Sadie’s puppies were born in the wee morning hours on Friday, November 24th.  They had 2 sons and 2 daughters. Everyone is doing fine and for that Willy and I are most thankful.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, let the Christmas season begin!! What a joyous time of the year.

** If you want to follow Willy’s puppies be sure to like Goswick Shorty Jacks on Facebook and visit goswickshortyjacks.com for information on which puppies are available. **

Duck Hunter Willy

Fall means hunting season!

We are a ranching family, and a hunting family. We stand for the 2nd Amendment and our right to bear arms. We believe in our God given right to hunt for our food.

Willy wanted to go hunting, but we didn’t hunt this year. We were not in need of meat with a freezer full of beef. (Although, I do wish the guys would have gotten some quail this year!) I didn’t want to let my buddy down, so I let him pretend he went duck hunting.

We actually don’t duck hunt. We are big game hunters and prefer to hunt deer or elk; the type of game that fills a freezer for the winter. But, that was a challenge for the photo shoot so, in honor of the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty, Willy became a duck hunter.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I think of those Pilgrims who settled this great land and the Natives who lived here before that. They respected the wildlife and took only what they needed to eat. That tradition has carried down in families like ours through generation upon generation. We respect the wildlife and as ranchers we take great care to manage the land so that our cattle as well as the wildlife who inhabit it have plenty of feed and water.

Until next time, be sure to thank a farmer or rancher. You have no idea how important we are to this great country.

Aspen Creek Trail

“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” – Mary Davis

To be in nature is therapy for my weary soul. To hear the breeze blowing through the pines is peaceful and soothing. Willy and I needed this hike – we needed this time in God’s creation to rejuvenate.

We did meet one couple along the trail – Willy never meets a stranger, he loves everyone. But, the rest of the hike was just us and nature. We never did figure out why it is called Aspen Creek – there aren’t any Aspen trees.

We were not alone in the forest, we were surrounded by animal life, we even saw some deer! They were too fast to get a photo, unfortunately. Willy could not understand why I wouldn’t let him chase them.

Willy had a blast exploring along the trail. He tried to get the squirrels to come out of the trees to play, but they opted to stay up at a safe distance.

The golds and reds of the oak leaves were a glorious splash of color against the pines. Willy loved rolling in the leaves and running through them to hear the crunch beneath his paws.

Sometimes we just have to be reminded to slow down. Willy helps me remember that. Without him, I would just keep hiking – pushing myself. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you don’t stop and take breaks, you miss the beauty.

Until next time, be sure to slow it down every once in awhile. Don’t miss the beauty.

Willy in Black & White

Photo Shoot at the Ranch – Willy in Black & White.

Willy and I decided to show you the ranch headquarters through various filters of black and white photos. Somehow even the most common places became extraordinary.

In front of our cattle pens there are several antique plows. Their rustic, vintage appeal was truly showcased with this nostalgic filter.

Even hanging out on the hay trailer or in the hay barn makes great photos when you use a vintage filter.

This old piece of wooden gate, now just a memory of days gone by made a great backdrop for this photo. I guess you can tell it was a hot day when we did this photo shoot.

I saved Willy’s favorites for last. Willy LOVES watching the cattle. They fascinate him. I love the way this filter brings out the red in Willy’s coat contrasted against the yellow- gray of the grass. Willy is sporting his Fearless Pet Dual-Max collar, a safe, comfortable alternative to other anti-pull training collars.

Willy loves to stand up on the hill above ranch headquarters and look down at the corrals and barn. This my friends, is where Willy lives. Our house is just beyond the barn under the Cottonwood trees.

Willy enjoyed showing you around his stomping grounds and I enjoyed showing you in black and white. I hope you enjoyed it as well.

 

Happy Halloween

Willy is ready to go Trick or Treating.

From the pint sized Jack-o-lantern to the Willy sized costume, This pup is ready to rock this Halloween. Willy loved dressing up as Bob the Minion. Somehow he felt taller.

I love this costume! He actually looks ROUND, just like the minions! Of course, we had to add a little seasonal decor for the photos. This raven, well, this is as scary and as creepy as it gets in our household. We don’t do scary – we do fun!

And of course, what’s a raven without a scarecrow?

Willy wishes all his friends a safe and fun-filled Halloween. HAPPY HARVEST to everyone!

Shipping Day on the Ranch

Cowboy is a breed tougher than nails and strong as steed.

We recently shipped our yearling cattle to the auction. We raise black Angus cattle. We run them on leased land in different parts of the state. Some carry our brand, the 7U, and others carry our son Clancy’s brand, the TX. Still others are our son Ty’s and some are my brother-in-law’s cattle, but they all are Goswick cattle. Willy enjoyed being a Cow dog and watching over the herd.

For days the cowboys gathered their cattle, branded the pee wee calves, doctored any that needed doctored and hauled the yearling calves to the ranch headquarters to be weaned off their mamma’s milk. This process is called ” Fall Works” in ranching terms. We kept the weaned yearling calves in the shipping pens at Fain Ranch until the day the truck would arrive to haul them to the sale. These yearlings were very curious to meet Willy.

Willy was thrilled to know that the very next day a big semi truck would be backed up to this cattle ramp and the excitement would begin.

He took it upon himself to sit on point, making sure the cattle stayed where they belonged until the truck arrived.

After a good nights sleep, we were up bright and early on a crisp fall morning. The truck had arrived and the cowboys were horseback. Let the loading begin!

For those of you who don’t know, here is a run down of a typical shipping day. When the time comes to be loaded they are weighed and sorted off in groups according to size and weight. (Each section of the livestock trailer, or cattlepot, holds a certain amount of cattle and the weight of the cattle has to be carefully arranged so that the trailer’s axle weights are balanced.) They are then herded into the lane and up the loading ramp into the trailer.  There are two floors and several pens/compartments within the trailer.

Willy enjoyed every minute. He watched every move the cowboys made and stood by the gate to make sure they didn’t try to escape.

Willy especially enjoyed his vantage point above the lane where he could “oversee” the cattle without being in harms way. It was a great day! It all went smoothly and the cattle were on there way to auction in no time at all.

Until next time, Long live cowboys!

“There’s a hundred years of history and a hundred before that; all gathered in the thinkin’ goin’ on beneath that hat.” – Baxter Black