Madera, CA 93636

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Our Latest Blog Entry

April 2021: We moved! Finally! What a year!  Has it really been a year since I last wrote? Wow. Although we started the infrastructure, preparing for the house, the home builders started last May 2020.  During the year , it seemed we spent every weekend moving stuff to the property and working on the land (i.e. dog fence area and alpacas fence area).  We knew it would take time since we had 28 years of accumulation.  The house was completed April 2021. We moved  and brought the Alpacas the following month. 

We put the Manon house for sale in beginning of June and it sold within a week (Thank God- Escrow was short. (Yeah!) 

We know this will be a  lifelong process of building. Our summer project is to repaint in the house,  build outdoor kitchen built and organize stuff. Marta has been preparing the tent areas for the Hipcampers and Airbnb guests. We've been getting a lot of Harvest Host guests as well. Last year we got a lot of tent campers due to a lot of campsites being closed. We'll see what happens now that more things are open. 

This summer (2021) we are also offering use of our tents for those who want to camp but don't have the gear. They are all listed on airbnb and hipcamp. 

While I'm on summer break (from teaching),  I will also be working on a special area for prayer and reflection. It will be called Shalom Oasis.

Our Second Blog Entry

Our Ranch Story

June 10, 2020 For those of you who have asked about A & M Ranch, I thought I'd just write about it, (so I don't have to repeat the story each time) :) I realize some of this might be too detailed, but there is so much to this story. First, It's been a faith journey - we never thought we'd be here at this time of our lives.

Part 1:

2005: We bought two forty acre parcels. That's when I was working FT and we could afford it. Who would have known 6 months later I'd lose my job. Long story short, God is faithful and took care of us in the midst of it all. We bought 2 parcels with the intention of selling one and later to exchange the second for a house in the hills or build with the hopes our kids would come build too. We sold the first one around 2010. We tried to sell the 2nd parcel three different times. We looked at property in the hills to exchange, but no luck. Then, we realized we really didn't want to live in the mtns, so we stopped looking.

I (Marta) was going through some physical challenges back in 2014-2015 and was exhausted and had no intention of building. So we prayed-"God, if you want us to build and have vision for this, then show us and please restore energy and put us both on the same page." God answered. I started to feel better and we decided to put in a well in 2017 and we stopped trying to sell it. We just decided to keep moving forward one step at a time.

2017: We put in the well. Because we built 27 years ago we knew what had to be done. Then the power pole, cause PGE just doesn't do that. It took year and half to get it connected to the pole across the street.

2018: We bought the c-trains for storage.  It was as roomy as Arnolds shop in the Ranchos, but it was sufficient. Arnold painted his storage units and put a cover between. It looks like another barn. 

2019 -We built the Big Red AG Barn.

2018: We started looking at home styles and builders. We didn't decide until 2019. 

2020/May- They started building the house. 

We have still lots to do i.e. finish the dog fencing, alpaca fencing, landscaping, patios, etc, etc. 

(Oh yeah, in the midst of the past decade, we were still working, both my parents passed, arnold dad passed, we became empty nesters, two kids got married, we started a few businesses and I got my doctorate), so if you never heard us talk about the land it was because we were focusing on other things :)

We thank the Lord for his GOODNESS. It's been a wild ride.Who would have thought we'd be doing this in our 60's? But then again, who would have thought people would be wearing masks and sheltering in place for almost a year.

It's a NEW ERA! 

Our First Blog Entry

Decluttering-Jan 2020

I read a recent article that titled "Ten things your kids don't want". Really?! How sad, they really don't want my vintage tablecloths, doilies and china dishes?

I started this decluttering process a few years before my parents passed. They started giving away some of their things. I digitized their photos, before tossing and giving away the prints.After throwing out photos of trees and mountain (places they visited), I realized, my kids would not to want my photos of trees and squirrels:). So now I have 40 years of photo albums to sort through. I'm giving myself a few years.

A few years ago, I started with my kids photo albums and video's. I took out the photos and tossed the albums.I sorted the photos into 5 piles (one for each of them and one for me) and then bundled them by year. I put them in a pretty box and gave each a box for Christmas. I also sent the videos to be made into DVD's. (although that now seems to be outdated). Step 1 -done! Now, I have to go through my personal 1960-80's albums and digitize.

Next: The stuff: The kids all have put the things they want to keep in boxes. The hardest thing is getting rid of things they don't want but bring me good memories...like my husbands first ski set, or my first set of dishes when I was single, or moms tea cups, the toy soldiers, barbies, and all the beanie babies.This has been on ongoing emotional process. I've sold stuff, sent much to the thrift stores, repurposed some, and kept a few for future generations.(I actually made a cool wall hanging, like many dream catchers out of my moms doilies).

I know this will take time, but I also know I don't want to move all this stuff when it is time to move. It's time to Let it Go.