Puppies Everywhere

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We had a fabulous trip to California last week! Ventura is a coastal town an hour from LA and half-an-hour from Santa Barbara, and it definitely has a cool California vibe.

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One thing about it that surprised me is that there are BEAUTIFUL flowering trees and plants everywhere! Thick large oleander and bougainvillea line the roads, and the roses…

rosejust LOOK at that huge rose!

Orange trees and orchards stand tight together right up against the road, and there are fruit stands at nearly every corner. We stopped at one of them on day 2 and bought fifty bucks worth of peaches, strawberries, plums, grapes, and avocado. Lawdy, that was some delicious fruit.

 


 

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We went to California because Seth was called on for a select ball team, the 10U Indians out of Kerrville. GO INDIANS! It was their World Series for Triple Crown Sports, and it was an exciting time for a great group of kids who’ve worked their butts off to make it there! There was lots of baseball practice–muy importante! and camaraderie,  swimming, seafood, and naturally, exciting baseball games against some very competitive teams from across the country!

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Lots of excellent life lessons in baseball.

 

Did I mention seafood?

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Photo courtesy Lisa Kneese

 “We Catch it, We Sell it, We Serve it!” 

This is almost all of us 30 minutes before closing at Fishermen’s Catch in Oxnard, Ca. where their slogan is, “We catch it, we sell it, we serve it.” Seriously, you can’t get seafood fresher than that, folks! I had the coconut shrimp and a piece of their fried cod. Sweet mother of pearl it was good. Tried the calamari too, and WOW–yum!

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Bougainvillea everywhere!

 


 

All of the families had a great time in California, and Robert and I were so glad we could send Seth and go with the team and their great families. One of the activities during the week included a Dodgers game in the Owners’ Suite at Dodger Stadium. Talk about WOW! The boys and families were all so impressed and thrilled to be there! We marveled at the memorabilia, learned some Dodgers trivia, and cheered our hearts out! In fact, the Dodgers won their game  3-2 over the Rays thanks to all of the Indians’ cheering and encouragement!

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ball field

Times like these call for a wide angle lens.

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“Take me out to the ball gaaaaame…”

A side note: Dodger Stadium is BE–U–TI–FUL. It sits at the top of a high hill in Los Angeles, surrounded by palm trees and hills all around. I was amazed that a sporting venue so large could be so pretty and removed from city chaos! I guess I’m used to the AT&T Center smack dab in the middle of San Antonio. It was not the same at all! Don’t get me wrong, I will always be a Spurs and San Antonio Rodeo fan, but Dodger Stadium took me by surprise. A baseball oasis. Likewise, the folks working in the Owners’ Suite were very surprised by and impressed with our Indians. They remarked several different times how they liked their manners, and appreciated their good behavior! (That’s a W in this mama’s book!)

 


 

I did mention, I loved our trip, right?

We drove from Vegas through the Mojave desert to Ventura.

We drove from Vegas through the Mojave desert to Ventura.

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The Pacific–never thought I’d see it for myself!

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Adios, California! :(

 

Coming home from a sepia-Cali-beautiful-vibe was made easier by the fact that my dear sweet sister-in-law called with the happy news that both Sasha and Gypsy had their puppies! They’re a bit too young yet to photo, we really like to leave them alone with their mamas for the first couple of weeks. Years of experience (sheep, goats, cows, etc) have taught us that the less we hassle mama, the better. Suffice it to say though, there are puppies everywhere! Sasha (XLeo) had five, and Gypsy (X Riley) had four! We are so excited to be able to offer these babies in a couple of weeks! I will keep you posted! Check out Sasha, Leo, Gypsy, and Riley on the “Our Dachshunds” page.

Until then, hang ten, y’all, and God bless!

New Addition At Ashley Ranch

 

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Introducing the newest addition to Ashley’s Ranch Hand Dachshunds! Duchess is a shaded cream female bought from Debbie’s Dachshunds in Luchenbach! Welcome home, girl!

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Bonnie’s Bunch

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Bonnie’s bunch is here! She had five precious longhaired babies, and we cannot wait to share them with you! They are a favorite pairing among our RHD families, because they are so soft, and cuddly, and too stinkin’ cute!

 

I tried taking photos yesterday, and here’s what happened:

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No respect, I swear!

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Lady, PLEASE.

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ZZZZZZ…

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So, YEAH. Lots of yawning and sleepiness.

Promise I will get them in a better mood soon. Until then, sweet puppy dreams! shhhhh! 😉

 

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Be Bold

Be Bold Roadside Flowers

My church is in every run I take. Today, admittedly, there was also walking, but nonetheless it was there, still. A few days ago, driving down the country road that leads to my house, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to take a big ole riding mower and drive that thing straight up and back down the sides of Stringtown, and make a nice fresh running lane.” Of course, dodge the clumps of wildflowers (there are many) and make everyone’s entrance even prettier. Weird, I know. Stringtown is such a pretty road. Fields of purple lantana, Black-eyed Susans, green fields with sika, angora, F1 cross cows. And there are wildflowers. Today it occurred to me in “church” that running down Stringtown is like running through a Texas native plant nursery.

Be Bold Flowers

The Message to me lately has been about the lonely. Not that I have thought too much about it, but just to remember them. Reach out to them. I hate to say “them” because that implies “not me” like I haven’t been there. We all have. So how do I put it without isolating the lonely even with my words? I don’t know the answer, but it has come to the forefront several times in the last couple of weeks, which means I need to take a deeper look at it since it has never really occurred to me before.

In 44 YEARS it hasn’t occurred to me.

Thursday, on our way to baseball practice, we stopped to get water and Big League Chew(ing gum), and a young man I’ve seen before was standing in line behind us to pay out. He’s in a tiny Texas town, and has had brushes with the law which–no doubt–are substantiated. All these things certainly must add up to a very solitary existence in a town that is not your friend. I think he has *friends* but the general population of our town is not one of them.

[And I’m not by ANY means saying every person in our town is ugly, or intolerant. I’m saying the cards are stacked against this guy, deservingly or not, and his situation here is thus.]

He wasn’t smiling, and I don’t think I have ever seen him smile. It’s been at least 8 years since I saw him last, and back then he was a teenager. I had never seen him smile those days either.

But here we were, as customers in a convenience store, him behind my boys and husband and I, him waiting patiently his turn, my boys haggling with us for jerky.

We walked off, and he stepped up, and I had to. Lot’s wife turned back and said,

“Hey. How’s it going?”

“Great.” Broad smile.

I’m not sure who was more surprised. Him that I spoke, me that he smiled, or me that I spoke.

Be bold in the Lord.

So today, I had this unfathomable urge to punish myself by going for a fresh run. (That’s one who’s last previous run was probably 6 months ago.)

The best thing about this run is always the bunches and clusters of wildflowers on the way. They NEVER get old. I headed up Stringtown toward town. Earlier, I’d seen another reminder about the lonely (thanks, Heather!) It was about reaching out. It broke my heart. It made me think about the issue of loneliness more. Chugging up hill number two, I see someone coming down the road in my direction, kind of in the road. My brain is trying to make sense of the image bopping up and down in my jogging view: I go through the tiny file of other runners and walkers I’ve seen. Nope, none of them. A little closer, ah! Looks like a jogging stroller and some sort of dog on a leash. A person pushing a jogging stroller? Nope. Closer, now it’s someone on a black riding lawn mower. I’m jogging, thinking that’s not unusual. Closer now, it’s him. On the riding lawn mower.

I shut out the rumors and the stories. As I run, there’s often a mantra In my head whose words match each step.

Like: Your. Body. Isn’t. Giving. Out. It’s. Your. Brain.

And when I’m feeling heroic: Every. Step. Closer.

Sometimes on especially difficult days: Don’t. Give. In. You. Moron.

Suddenly my mantra was and without thinking or further ado: Be. Bold. In. The. Lord. Be. Bold. In. The. Lord. Be. Bold. In. The. Lord.

As we came closer to parallel, I quick-checked behind me for cars and crossed directly to him.

I smiled, put my palm out and said, “Hey. How’s it going?” His palm met mine, and I saw him say “great!” Broad smile. Message in a Bottle was playing on my earbuds.

The moment felt good. I kept on with my mantra and my run. Be. Bold. In. The. Lord. Be. Bold. In. The. Lord. Be. Bold. In. The. Lord. Still don’t why that came to me.

My running app chimed that I was halfway, so I turned and crossed the road for home. I seriously doubted I’d see my fellow traveler again, but I started putting two-and-two together. The recurrent reminders about the lonely, the twice sighting of a young man whom I’ve not seen in years. I flashed back to stories about my uncle who, while working with the Billy Graham Foundation, frequently reached out to the homeless in the streets of Minneapolis. I crested the hill where I met the young man and suddenly stopped, surprised. He had driven into the grass and mowed a running lane. He missed clumps of wildflowers, avoided the rocks, and made a nice, fresh running lane. The clippings were out in the road. I don’t know if maybe he meant to do it for me. Maybe he was being nice for our neighbors. Maybe none of that. Maybe God was saying, “YESSSSS!” It was my “hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore” epiphany. But I’d had some serious church in this run.

 

Be Bold Roadside Flowers
 

Walked out this morning I don’t believe what I saw
A hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone in being alone
A hundred billion castaways looking for a home*

 

*Message in a Bottle, from Reggata de Blanc, written by Sting, performed by The Police, 1979

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Welcome to Ashley Ranch

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Home of Ranch Hand Dachshunds

For your next faithful, furry, four-legged friend, you’ve come to the right place! We breed and match the highest quality, AKC-registered mini dachshunds with loving families — and we would love to match the perfect doxie with you. So come on in, take your time, browse our site and let one of our puppies steal your heart!

Don’t forget to like our Facebook page while you’re here.

Thanks for visiting! We’d love to hear from you.

 

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Margot had her puppies!

Margot had her puppies!

Two little chocolate & tan males. Photos will be posted soon.

Contact us if you’d like to get on the waiting list for one of these beautiful puppies.

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