Sunday, July 31, 2011

On the REAL Name for the Ranch

Welcome to Freedom Ridge Ranch: Where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the cows are above average.

Alert readers may have noticed that the name of our ranch
has finally been decided upon. I have been calling it "Ragamuffin Ranch" here on this blog and in general conversation because, well, I liked it. But there are other people involved in this enterprise besides me. The CIT thought the name was too cutesy, and threatened to pull out of the whole enterprise if it stayed that way. "Mom," he stated, "You don't rope cattle on a place called Ragamuffin Ranch." The EG was in total agreement, the name was too 'girly girl" and had to go. And he pointed out that even our ranching partner hated the name. "She hates that as much as you hate anything with the word 'Pointe' at the end of it!"
It is true. I refused to buy property once in a place with 'Pointe' as part of its name. I hate that pretentious 'e' at the end, and mocking call a place called Primrose Pointe, 'Primrose Pointy.'

We thought of a lot of possible and not so fussy names. We thought of a lot of humorous names, too, but we didn't intend to use them. "City Slickers Ranch" or "Broke Acres" just doesn't have the proper ring, the one that will make certain people want to be part of this adventure. So we looked at names based on local rock formations and local features. I really liked the idea of "Point Lookout Ranch, a name taken from the Point Lookout formation that makes up the caprock of our mesas and ridges . But the name with the most 'ring' to it was "Freedom Ridge Ranch", named after the ridge there behind the cabin the picture. This is the ridge that the old homesteader who took out a claim on this land a hundred years ago looked up at every day while proving up his claim, and the one that rainbows like to visit and mists (and smoke) like to curl around.

Freedom Ridge Ranch.
It brings up connotations of grass fed, grass finished beef raised in freedom right here on the ranch. It brings up the wholesome goodness of free-range chickens pecking in the grass, producing eggs with the yellowest yolks you have ever seen. And for Studley Dooright, our bull, it brings up the run up the ridge and through the fence to check out the pretty cows in season over at the McKinley place--but that's another story.

Most importantly, it reminds the EG of why he invested in the project in the first place. Freedom might have been 'just another word for nothin' left to lose' to Janice Joplin, but for the EG it means self-employment and entrepreneurship--and the time to craft really fine wood products-- after years of being just another engineer at a government lab. Our ranching partner likes all the connotations, but seems particularly taken with the idea of naming the ranch after a local geographical feature. And the CIT likes the freedom he has to swing a rope and to ride his horse daily.

And me? I like the whole concept of freedom. The freedom from the noise and traffic of the city. The freedom to set my own daily schedule, and the freedom of having my husband around all the time . . . (Hmmm. I wouldn't go that far, even out of sheer enthusiasm).
But I especially like the idea that we are free and clear, and can decide how to use this wealth made up of this place at this time using for our own best interest. That's the best part of having one's husband retire. Not to mention that the alarm does not go off at dark o'clock anymore. I never see a cow until after the sun comes up . . . Perhaps that's the greatest freedom. The Freedom from the tyranny of the alarm clock.

Pass that grass fed, grass finished beef, please.
And welcome to Freedom Ridge Ranch.

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