Happy 4th if July from our little homestead to yours! ;) 🇺🇸
Friday morning after school got out we were en route to the ranch. Emmy came with us for the weekend this time which was a treat!
This little one barfed four times driving up - we think she had a little virus or something poor baby!
Vacaville stop for potty break and Starbucks - one kid down clothing or a diaper 😜
We stopped in Red Bluff and the kids stayed w Em at Oma's house while Heff and I picked up my birthday present - a welding set up!
And then Emmy and I stopped in Yreka and picked up four craigslist bunnies. Just adding to the menagerie madness!
They tried to convince me to take these three free kittens. Great story behind this one and thank god I said no way😉
Finally arrival in Fort Jones! 4-wheeler ride to check water first
Takes a fee minutes to breath in the mountain air and be grateful we are here.
Put these girls to work
Moving wheel lines with Dad
Sunshine and Emmy!
We brought Penny the cat to live out ranch life. We didn't see her for a few days (not surprising after 8 hours in a dog crate) but now she stalks around killing field mice and moles all day long. Happy cat.
Lessons from Dad on how to hold bunnies without getting your face scratched up. Some learned the hard way ;)
Relaxing in the hammock
Bunny enclosure done. They escaped the next day through the wire holes and are now free range bunnies who wiggle back in to eat and drink. Somehow all four are still alive.
Ready to work Saturday morning in my Five Marys Farms gear!!
Tractor selfie moving dirt with my husband. And yes I wear overalls now when in farming ;)
Planted 100 more tomato plants a friend gave me she'd started in her backyard and didn't end up needing. Tomato sauce for days we hope! Maisie was a great helper planting all of the with me.
JJ came to help too. She was pretty excited to be touching horse poop.
Lunch break - for my mountain man and I
Found this old welded swing buried in brush by the big house
Fixed up for swinging!
Saturday night Em babysat and we went to Etna Brewery for live music night! Our new friend up there Jason Conley played and the place was packed! A really fun night seeing friends we've made and meeting new ones. We feel lucky to be so welcomed in this really great community
Morning view from the barn while Heff and I were working
Emmy time playing cards on the porch
And taking amazing photos as usual!!!
Big girl Francie. Officially a 1st grader now!
Only a few of Emmy's photos. Always awesome.
And Emmy took and posted this picture of JJ holding a chicken - to which my sister MADD this comparison and texted us she had seen that face before ;)
Sunset ride up the gulch!
Lots of dirt and sunshine up here, my favorite.
We came back to Los Altos for the last few days of school - Francie finished Kindergarten and loved her teacher Ms Wiley (so did Maisie ;) end of the year picnic, hanging out at home, park dates with Emmy and planning to go back up to the ranch! Ice cream cones at the picnic and Emmy, good combo Tess!
Sister walk the secret way back home
Even snuck in a date night with this handsome guy... In my new truck! Ranchers and ranchers wives need some power, power that fits 4 children and 2 adults of course ;)
And couldn't stay away from Home Depot. When it's only 5 minutes away instead of 85 miles you don't take that for granted.
We spent another weekend at the ranch working on projects and hanging out! We had some visitors which is always fun and kept busy working outside on our farmer's tans ;)
Driving up stop for treats. 1-2-3 for lucky Tiny
We stayed over in Red Bluff Wednesday night and drive up early Thursday morning. While we unloaded the girls set up camp with archery practice and a picnic (Jannie's hand me down quilt, our favorite!)
Snacks for the weekends are pretty much self service! I caved at the grocery store and bought kool-aid packets to put in those water bottles. But I didn't add the sugar. It tasted horrible and was sticky everywhere, learned my lesson/ stick to water!
The garden beds behind the cabin are growing huge! Wild blueberries and herbs and.. I have to ask Marisa what else we planted that day, we'd had a few sidecars ;)
Kat and Donald came to visit Thursday. The kids went wild in the dirt and Kat watched me spray paint (she's pregnant- good excuse;)
We sprayed old milk crates - I was going to make chicken coop nesting boxes but for nor they are like life size Legos
We all went to dinner at Dotty's in Etna. They have a side yard with picnic tables and toys. Perfect!!
Burgers, potato skins and corn dogs. Yum.
Ice cream cones for dessert
Cousins Lauren and Francie
Tiny couldn't believe mind had choco on it. She stole it. And shared with Maisie. But wouldn't give any back to me ;)
Not a bad start to the summer season in Fort Jones!
Friday morning snugglers in my bed
Friday we piled in the truck to drive up to Medford Oregon to go shopping... Ranch shopping! It's a 1.5 hour drive but where the bigger stores and supplies are.
First stop, Big R ranch and farm supply. Francie said it was like a Target but for ranches. It was amazing!! I think we were there for 3 hours. Good thing they had a hot dog stand.
But the UPS man still finds his way to Fort Jones - thank goodness 😉
friday night wind down. Ahhhh. Sidecar made by my husband while I say and checked Instagram and finished my Coors Light.
Then a family drive up the draw to check on the cattle and watch the sunset
My people ;) as good as it gets for a 4-wheeling 6-person selfie
Meeting the new herd of cattle. These beauties aren't ours, thru are just leading our grazing grass. But fun to see. The babies here.
And Francie helping here a baby back over the fence to his momma
Loving the wide open spaces and warm nights. Nothing makes me happier.
Then Saturday morning I was up early to hit the Yard Sale Extravaganza - neighbors dropped off honey and a map. I love this place! ❤️
Off early to see what treasures I could find. I must have hit 25 sales, and that was probably only half of them! Tractors and barn sales included - yes!
I tried to hold back but brought a few things home. This little old wagon and green trunk. And I found a bunch wooden chairs for our outdoor table and a water cooler for summer drinks.
This was an example of one of the yard sales. I was talking on the phone to my sister the whole time I poked around at this one. I promised to send her a picture. Here you go ABA.
The girls had an all day play date with Dylan - happy, dirty, tired kids after all day outside running around! Showing off their dirty feet here from playing in the "little river" irrigation ditch.
And Saturday late afternoon Sarah who works for the H&H at home and her boyfriend Ben came to visit! We put them to work painting the yard sale chairs with me
Kids and spray paint. Marginal parenting choice but they were so proud of their work.
Final product - outdoor dining is ready for bbqs!
First family dinner. Broccoli and chicken soup with extra pasta. We were too tired to go to the store ;)
Just soaking up sun with my baby girl ❤️
Sunday we debated over how to do this - I bought 16 tomato plants at a roadside stop I found yard sale shopping, they were amazing looking! I stopped at the garden store for troughs and soil to get them planted but Heff had a better (cheaper!) idea!!
Old fence posts, T-posts and dirt from the cow poop pile. All we needed. We made a retaining wall to boost up the "backyard" behind the cabin where I have big plans for a secret garden / imagination playground. I think I almost have Heff talked into it.
And Jim Weber stopped by too! Love seeing all these familiar faces the girls used this as good timing to take a break in the shade
Back to work laying out plants and setting up the old scarecrow we found
Francie and Maisie had to help move a four-wheeler. I dong hear any complaints about this chore!
Finished product - can't wait for tomatoes!!
Four happy, tired ranch girls. Just like their parents. ☺️
This might need to be a new series to blog about considering our ranch house dimensions!
Of the two houses on our ranch we focused on the little one to fix up for now. It was more mineable and on my impatient timeline.
the girls share a bedroom that is about 8 by 10 feet. yes four of them in there. But it works fine!
Tess has a crib bed I built in the closet (never got around to painting it) with her clothes in bins underneath (out if season clothes put away in storage which helps) and I kept hanging space above it for all of their dresses and button down shirts. Since it's an odd size I just ordered and cut foam for the mattress and tuck a crib sheet on it a little tighter.
She naps in the crib but has been falling asleep with her sisters on the communal bed lately and sleeps just fine. I love this sight! When they are tired enough from a full day of playing in the dirt and sunshine - they pass out here within five minutes.
I just moved their clothes around a bit and gave them fewer options. This is making me a lot happier than the JJ-16-outfits-a-day-day method. They each have a row except Tess with shirts, shorts/skirts and pants. Overalls and jumpers on the hooks next to it. I wish they'd wear these more often ;)
And then an older cubbies shelf holds bins for underwear, bathing suits, socks, etc. these all go in the same bin and they just find their size. They are close enough usually one size fits 2-3 of them so it's easier to their these in one bin after laundry.
Their bed (queen mattress) is still on the floor - next project is building a platform to get it off the ground and maybe storage under it! This was a month ago when we still had fleece warmy comforters. Now we are down to bare comforters and summer sheets!
and we still use and LOVE the Dot System for sizing! The oldest gets one dot, the second gets two dots and so on. I sharpie a black dot on the inside tag or seam or back of the shoes. Then it's a little faster for kids (and dads!) to find their size.
We've been keeping busy with these crazy girls and starting on some new projects. Always something going on at Camp Heff, just the way I like it :) we are lucky these girls love it too!
popsicle stand in the side yard. Not as successful as the front sidewalk ;)
I got sound sweet time with my Tiny while Dad had the girls at the ranch weekend before last.
And let her fall asleep in my bed :) nothing sweeter. Until they start kicking you.
We got to catch up with some good friends from high school and their little girls
Tess and Izzy - 24 hours apart!
And had a fun Saturday with
And summer is here! Lots of outdoor time getting dirty - even in juicy couture dresses and ice skates ;)
And a scavenger hunt turned into find a rainbow in nature game. I wasn't complaining.
Heff and I snuck away overnight for our 9 year "day we met" anniversary June 4 ;) I know. It's cheesy. But it's a good excuse!
Thankful as ever for this guy - my best friend and co-pilot on this ride. No matter what at the end of the day he's calm, cool, collected and keeps me right on track pushing forward to new experiences and a life full of love and sweet memories for our family. I love you Heff!
Two selfies in one week even ;) taco truck Tuesday lunch date he didn't even complain
Brian and I would like to thank our friendly followers, loyal customers and our friends who helped us grow our shops and restaurants in Downtown Los Altos. We are very proud of these businesses we created from big ideas and the help of our creative employees. We have sold the businesses and look forward to seeing DTLA continue to prosper.
As for the Heffernan family and The H&H Company, we look forward to finding the next adventure in small business. Our newest endeavor is running a cattle ranch in Siskiyou County, Sharps Gulch Ranch, that will focus on sustainable, family-farmed foods. There is a lot of hard work ahead and we look forward to this new journey and implementing our vision. We love new adventures and seeing where they take us.
We hope you’ll stay tuned!
-Mary and Brian Heffernan
The H&H Company
FOLLOW US AT THE H&H COMPANY AND AT SHARPS GULCH RANCH
Momday night we celebrated my Dad's birthday at my parents house. They just finished their big kitchen remodel and spruced up the side area (bye bye trampoline yard!) with a garden path and a fountain. It all looks awesome!!
My dad got live lobsters for a family feed - what a treat! Tiny was terrified but Francie was fearless 😉 I think the rubber bands helped.
Nothing better than Emmy double trouble! Cousins in pink
Jannie's new love bird swing - for two or three ladies (and matching summer dresses, thanks Lisa Fuerst!!)
Tiny was so proud of herself
Kids table set - nobody does it better than Jannie!
Not thrilled that they are moving but Grampary keeps her safe
And Uncle Jerry let's them tease him all day long
Cutest couple around serving up their crew of kids - we are pretty lucky!
Memorial Day dinner - summer is here
Big kids table
And ice cream cake to celebrate Grampa - we love you Dad!!
Always fun at Jannie and Grampa's house!! That flagstone better hold up to one zillion tricycle laps around the fountain in the next few years!
Last Saturday/Sunday Brian took JJ and Tessa up to the ranch for a quick trip to check on things. We got our new pivot going and the hay barns almost built. And I got some real gems texted to me in photos ;)
Is that a chetto mustache JJ or are you smelling them before consuming?
Checking on the pivot. And look how that hay grass is growing!!
They stopped at the tractor store of course - and didn't really ever get out of the clothes they left in.
Tiny says "COWS!!!" She's obsessed.
Oh JJ ;) Heff said the carted around that bag all weekend. Never been happier. Or more orange.
We had a good week last week welcoming in the warmer weather - I live for summer!!!!
Tuesday night was the school talent show for Francie. But of course we did Frozen braids all around ;) she performed Let It Go with 15 other kinders. Borrowed a real Anna costume from the neighbors complete with boots. It was amazing ;)
I totally successfully embarrassed Francie for the first time. She didn't want me to walk her to her classroom because "I looked weird" in my target shorts overalls. Yesssss.
This was the first face until she felt bad and smiled ;)
And Wednesday after school Maisie and I had a sushi boat lunch date we'd been talking about. Fun to have one on one time with her.
And Thursday night we had a fun dinner at my parents with out BFF neighbors the Carter's. Sidecars in the sideyard! Loved these girls.
All of them! And they love Gramparey and Jerry Carter. Spoil them rotten.
How cute is Carter Jeanne!?
And chef Tyler got back from his wedding - all married up! He is always so sweet with the girls. Sam is a lucky girl and you guys will be great parents someday!!
Speaking of parents... I love hoe my friend Emily jokes Francie always looks like a Teen Mom toting around her sisters ;)
They love their big sissys.
Maisie begged me for this "running shirt" on our Old Navy run this weekend to go with her running shorts. Looks like a mini marathoner ;)
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!! We had a mellow weekend at home with our family, just about my favorite way to spend a weekend. Work has been crazy with the busier, warmer weather and managing everything so it was a nice respite. Friday night we had a BBQ at Jannie and Grandpa's with our extended family and lots of cousins (why didn't I take pictures!?) and the pizza oven was back in business.
Francie pulled another tooth out at Jannie and Grampa's! Third one - she's really motivated by that tooth fairy visit :)
and the girls got to sleepover at Jannie's. Spoiled little girlies! They sleep in my old room, that is still "Baby Ann's" room now :) so cozy - nothing better than Jannie's beds.
My baby sister Ann was home all week with Baby Brennan. Maisie LOVES baby holding.
I'm a lucky girl to have these four little ladies calling me MOM. A very thankful Mom this Mother's Day for all the blessings I have.
getting ready for a swim - loving the warm weather
tiny wasn't very happy Dad took her swim cap
and JJ. Oh JJ. Wearing layers of non-matching swim clothes. And floaties. And a baby ring. And a swim cap.
Saturday afternoon Uncle Donald, Aunt Kat, Oliver and Lauren came over to visit since they were in town - pizza for lunch and cousin fun!
and Sunday we hung around the house all day - I got some sitting in the sun time in, some guilt free book reading, breakfast and lunch made for me and a princess balloon from Safeway. Oh and Tess barfed all over me on the way to bed reminding me I will miss all these things about this time in our life and being a mom to these little girls!
Happy Mother's Day!! The best part of Sunday was seeing my own mom - the girls light up for their Jannie (as we all do!) and she is such an awesome example of being a selfless, generous, always thinking of others, FUN mom. We love you Jannie!!
Mother's Day breakfast - scrambled eggs, sausage, toast and OJ. And Heff made my favorite spicy curry for dinner - so yummy. And the girls look thrilled of course :)
What a fun Sunday at the rodeo!!! We were up early Sunday morning to check the baby chicks and get some ranch chores done before rodeo time. The Etna rodeo was AMAZING! We are used to the big Red Bluff rodeo with thousands of people and lots of Crown Royal girls ;) This was a small town, know everybody there kinda rodeo. We are so lucky we feel SO welcomed by the Fort Jones/Etna community and everyone was so accommodating to open their tailgates and coolers to us and to our kids. We were there early after the parade for the kids events and stayed til 6pm. We met new people who introduced themselves (one nice lady said "ok you are talking to all the people I know - but I don't know YOU!?") and the girls mae fast friends with some kids their age and palled around hitting up the snow cone booth, the fancy jewelry booth and sliding down the big hill where the littles all congregated. I loved it so much I was bummed we were going to have to wait a whole year to do it again - but come to find out there is a JULY rodeo AND a rodeo at the August county fair - yessss. :)
Morning mist - love this image of Maisie looking out her window to see what this new day will bring. And yes they all sleep on that mattress on the floor. It's cozy.
A single line rainbow lingering on the Marble Mountains on the way to the parade
downtown Etna parade route - this parade was awesome! It was sprinkling when we got there but the sun came out. They threw candy from every truck, tractor and float - girls loved that!
I've seen some crazy things... But nuns on a miniature donkey cart!? and it had a flat tire.
My All American girl MaryMarjorie.
then after the parade we hit the fairgrounds for the RODEO! Everyone backs up their trucks to watch from above the stands - lots of food booths (gotta have a corn dog!), beer and so many nice people!
back in the chutes to watch Dylan, their new buddy, Mutton Bust. She was one of the only girls!
looking ready to mutton bust!!! GO Dylan!
The girls agreed this rodeo was AWESOME! Small town, safe and so much fun.
kids on tailgate trucks (stacked with hay bales for personal grandstands :) watching the bull riding and saddle cows
sweet Emma looking good in Dad's hat
hold on tight - Dylan about to go. Each kid gets a dollar coin for participating and winner gets a belt buckle.
great day at the rodeo - time to head home with tired kids
it got pretty chilly that night so we got home to cozy in the cabin by the fire. Maisie fell asleep in 3 minutes flat in her cozy Jannie knit blanket.
and this one helped her big sisters check their baby chicks. Bungled up in handmedowns.
We came up to the ranch last night for a quick weekend escape and have been relaxing and hanging out up here all day - ranch life is the best!! Even worth the 6 hour drive up and back for less than 2 days :)
Maisie in the morning ready to hit the feed store
lilacs in bloom all around the house (so glad we didn't tear them out when they were dormant and scraggly looking!)
JJ practicing for her pony ;)
and headed out on a mission with my girls on the backroads
just the bigs while Tess was out on the ranch with Dad.
and we got.... Chickens!!
21 little buggers! Feed store had 11 breeds in stock. #trouble
girls are smitten. Tiny is not sure. JJ might be first to kill one.
Maisie and her favorite two. So far they named 6 of them after Little House on the Prairie characters
and JJ is learning to be gentle. The girls love the story of two year old aunt Kat holding one too tight and brining it to Oma saying "peep peep go night night!"
doing their ranch chores to get the chicken coop ready
we have them in an old shed thing behind the house for now.
Tiny substituting her favorite puppy for riding a pony. He will do.
then off on 4wheeler to greet the cows and calves that are moving on the upper pastures to graze for a few months. Yay for more animals, even if they aren't ours (wait that's even better ;) this is heff's office right now.
the girls ask to put their toes in the irrigation ditch stream and one minute later it's down to this. Every time! Heff surveys the ranch and tiny just wants to be big
this was minutes before ;)
I love my husband and I love how happy he is out on the ranch farming and working hard. And yes we are wearing matching wranglers - I gave my sister full authority to make fun of me and told her I'm saving the sparkle butt ones for rodeo!
sisters at the old hay barn. Trying to figure out just how many chickens we can cram in here
and what am I to do with this kid!? #JJstyle
later in the afternoon after Tiny napped and I read out on a blanket in the sun (so rare and so good) we went to a BBQ and met lots of new fort jones people (might be the nicest group of people we've ever met in one place!) We had Coors Light and kids - do you need anything else?
Tiny loves a selfie. I pull out my phone and she says MORE MAMMA MORE! Ok tiny.
awesome BBQ on hay bales with lots of good new people to meet and lots of coolers. Pretty happy.
and happy kids making up games and playing on the seriously vintage swing set (inspiring me to get one like it and yarn bomb it;)
fast friends with cute Dylan and Grady - love this photo of these happy kids!! Can't wait to keep the party going at rodeo tomorrow!
We left Friday afternoon for a quick weekend trip ranch bound!
Tiny the Monkey - the girls are all pretty good travelers on long car rides but this one asks for "nacks, nacks!" (Snacks) allll day long
we stopped at Aunt Kat and Uncle Donald's for a BBQ to celebrate Lauren's 2nd birthday with some of the Heff cousins. Always fun.
happy birthday Lauren!
it was a great stop to break up the trip and always fun when cousins are involved - another pet lizard was captured and subsequently lost a tail. Rough crowd!
I love that I get to keep reliving our awesome cousin campout weekend at the Ranch through Andrea's amazing photos! Here are a few more of the B&W series she shot of the kids. I love that our styles are so different - I capture half-baked mostly-iPhone attempts at documenting everything that happened and she expertly captures the spirits and soul of the kids and the weekend. Thank you Andrea!
Loving the sunny weather - Happy May Day!! Here comes summer...
sunshine and smoothies on the porch
sprinkler hose - can you hear the screams from there? ;)
Popsicles on the wagon. Later turned into a Popsicle and smoothie stand
JJ and Tess out on the town with Emmy
Emmy is the best :)
green smoothies at Forest on First
We spent Easter Sunday on the ranch together with just our little family - a rare event coming from big families on both sides! We had intended to go to Easter mass in Fort Jones - even stopped by Saturday to check the time at the adorable little church in town! - but after a late night at the neighbors the girls were all sound asleep at 9am and seemed ambitious to get up, fed, dressed and have pleasant church goers ;)
but the Easter bunny still found us!
and then we had an egg hunt up behind the house
my Ukrainian egg attempts. Not winning any awards here ;)
the girls found them and hid them all again
JJ in her finest Easter ranch wardrobe
her curls are the best after she actually has a shampoo ;)
and this kid made fast friends with a pet Lizard - carrying it around everywhere and insisted on bringing it home in a Tupperware habitat with straws for air holes. #sorrylizard
and there were many lizard shows. JJ was Francie's loyal assistant (just don't ask her to hold the lizard)
I love my view from the cozy couch in this little cabin :) happy Easter!
and another reason to celebrate - the end of Lent means Heff and I can drink our road trip Diet Cokes again, woohoo! ;)
Maisie turned FIVE up at the ranch Friday April 18! We had a great day celebrating as a family. She's such a sweet girl and doesn't need much to make her happy.
presents and breakfast in the morning then hanging outside all day - sweet little five year old
snacks on the four wheeler headed out to the fields
and team work to get it done - Maisie on the wheel line with dad
they love their dad
making lunch- egg salad of course!
and a surprise for parade in the middle of the day!!
and this was her present waiting for her from uncle jerry her godfather when we got home from the ranch. Good picks Jer!
happy birthday sweet Maisie. We all love you!
especially your sisters. You are always so kind to each one and thinking if them and their feelings. We are lucky to have you as a part of our family that's for sure!!
Jannie has been faithfully taking the girls to ice skating lessons for two seasons and this year they got to be in the show! They practiced every week, cousin Kristy was their coach and cousin Karie were so sweet to make the girls feel so special.
Getting ready to go - they were in the "Rush Hour" scene as taxis!
Friday night - girls went in early when Jannie dropped then off with the cast and we took our seats in the stands!
the second act! They rocked it!
and then got to sit in the stands with us to watch the rest of the show. Dad gave them flowers ;)
after the show with superstar coach cousin Kristy!
and the second show Saturday night with cousin Karie!
and lucky girls got to take the poster home!!
they had a sleepover at Jannie and Grandpa's - loved seeing this post from my mom
and they sure were spoiled by Auntie Em and Janes who all watched the show and brought flowers for the stars ;)