March 2016
Mountain Home Ranch
A Place for Gathering Since 1913

We wake up in awe every morning to the beauty that surrounds us and so does Tater Tot (pictured). The colors and textures, so many shades of green, all the different types of leaves, so many leaves and needles on the trees, The morning sky always a master piece,….. The divine is everywhere and to be a part of and witness to such amazing life forces,…. well there is just no words for how full our hearts are. To be a part of this amazing thing called life. We are so deeply grateful for all the people we get to share it with. We truly hope you and yours wake up every day and see the miracle that is life, that is you.
Namaste
Suzanne & John
Upcoming Events
Book your gathering today
707-942-6616
March
4 – 8
Steven Forest Astrology

Sold Out

10 – 11
Sonoma Valley High School

Every 15 Minutes

15 – 16
Montgomery High School

Every 15 Minutes

18th – 21st
Sheep Dog Trials
Sold Out
18th – 20th
Way of Rest

With Jeff Foster

Sold Out
 
20th
Spring Equinox

22nd – 23rd
Cardinal Newman

Every 15 Minutes

April 
1st – 3rd

Open Door Zen Yoga

Another great use for the barbed wire we are taking down around the Ranch. Decorative guitar strings!!!

 
Honk, Honk, Honk
The Canadian Geese are back. They stop here on their migratory path every year to have their babies at Lake Orth. It is always so much fun to watch the family grow. Pictured are ‘ducks in a row’ from last year. Sadly, rarely do the babies make it to fledgling status, too many predators, but its fun to watch them and we feel honored that they choose our lake, year after year. Some facts about their flight: They usually fly at 3,000 feet, but have been seen as high as 29,000 feet. They can cover 1,500 miles in 24 hours with favorable winds. The migratory distance is from Northern Mexico to Northern Canada.
 
Spring is in t
Early Spring is a wonderful time of year at the Ranch – Let’s be honest, every season is wonderful here in its own way.  We are so blessed to live here. Today, the canyon air is intoxicating with its aroma of the Cyanothus [Wild Lilac].  But it’s another strange year, the wild flowers are blooming out of order.  The Indian Warriors (pictured) usually are the first to appear in January, but they are just coming out now, while the Shooting Stars, usually a mid March through April bloom have been out for a month already. We are seeing our Hound’s Tongue and Indian Paint brush popping up now which are on the early side.  So far, El Nino has been a bust, the rain fall has been more ‘normal’ but we have high hopes for a wet March.
We love the playful creativity here at the Ranch. This past weekend we hosted our great niece’s 6th birthday party in a mermaid theme. And with the help of Pintrest, we made this very popular shark that young and old got to enjoy. Delicious and very simple.
Contacts
Suzanne Pasky Fouts
suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com
 707-942-6616
Thank You, Thank You,Thank You
We so appreciate your kind words out their in social media, TripAdvisor is our main referral source, but yelp, google, or any others that you participate in helps A LOT. Hope you will help spread the word and keep us going another 100 years!

February 2016
Mountain Home Ranch
A Place for Gathering Since 1913

Happy New Year 2016
 
The month of LOVE. We look around and love what we have been given from Grandma and Grandpa Orth and maintained by other family members, Mom and Dad, all of our siblings. It is because of all of them that we have this land to love. We love the business we have built upon, the wonderful individuals, families and groups that join us throughout the year. We love having space for so many furry and feathered friends, both wild and domestic. We love that we have found someone crazy, like each other, to share this walk called the human experience with. We love the staff that has found their way to us, each brings a talent that enhances the whole. We love the repurposing of things we do around the Ranch. The barbed wire down in the canyon can be very harmful to both human and animal, so we have been removing it and using it to create these fun hearts!. What’s not to LOVE. Happy Valentine Day
With Love
Suzanne & John
Upcoming Events
Book your gathering today
707-942-6616
February
5th – 7th
Netivot Shalom
Family Camp
7th
Superbowl Party Main Lodge, big screen TV. Bring what you want to drink and snacks to share RSVP
707-942-6616
14th – 20th
Wild Heart Teachers Training
21st – 28th
BayNVC
Leadership Training
Wholly moley has this been the year for chanterelles. The last few years, with lack of rain, we did not find that many. This year they are popping up all over the place. Phil even found this monster 22 ounce one between the parking lot and tennis court. It was very tasty and nutritious too, in a vegetarian stir fry.
Sunrise over Lake Orth

 
Equine Update
 
The extra food and warmth has worked wonders for Bella. She has stopped cribbing and is filling out nicely. We are always learning new stuff about our four legged friends. I was reading an article in Sidelines a horse magazine that was talking about a colic problem with a horse. When they moved the horse to a different barn/stall the horse would clear up. The vet talked about another case where a horse had ulcers that kept coming back. When they moved him to a different stall, they went away permanently. We know in our human lives, environment makes a huge difference to our well being so it makes sense that this can be the case with our furry friends. Pictured, we take the new furries for walks into the canyon. Bella loved the patch of narcissus.

 
Fruit Tree Pruning Time or Not
 
I recently went to a fruit tree pruning class at Friedman Brothers Home Improvement, they have the best clinics and always learning something new. We prune all of our fruit trees this time of year only to find out that cherries and apricots are susceptible to a blight that can kill them, introduced when a fresh cut is made and it gets wet. Our cherries and apricot have been doing really well, but I know many friends and neighbors that have lost their due to this blight. Just didn’t know this is how it gets introduced into the tree. They recommend pruning these trees after they finish fruiting in the summer.
Contacts
Suzanne Pasky Fouts
suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com
 707-942-6616
Thank You, Thank You,Thank You
We so appreciate your kind words out their in social media, TripAdvisor is our main referral source, but yelp, google, or any others that you participate in helps A LOT. Hope you will help spread the word and keep us going another 100 years!

January 2016
Mountain Home Ranch
A Place for Gathering Since 1913

Happy New Year 2016
 
January is always a good time to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the New Year. This past year, like all years, there were sad losses (like my Mom) and some big joys (like adding the three new equines to the menagerie). We are excited with what this New Year has in store for us. We have an amazing staff, some old, some new, all are working well with one another and we feel very supported.  The fruit trees are getting pruned, manure (compliments of all the critters) spread around to fortify the garden beds. We are feeling well rested from a wonderful trip to Hawaii and hosting some delightfully low key holiday parties, culminating on New Years Eve with guests and neighbors, some 30+ people. We celebrated New York time and were all safe and comfy in bed by 10:00 PM. We love being a central hub for so much merriment, we think Grandma and Grandpa would be proud that we keep the tradition alive.
Wishing you and yours and most wonderful New Year
With Love
Suzanne & John
Upcoming Events
Book your gathering today
707-942-6616
 
January 
8 – 9
Oakland UU Youth Group
16 – 22
Wild Heart Painting
Chris Zydel
www.creativejuicesarts.com
28 – 30
Oakland School District Teachers Retreat
29 – 31
Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living
Prac Retreat
February
5 – 7
Netivot Shalom
Family Camp
Recycling/repurposing at its finest. Last month with the hustle and bustle of shipping out gifts to loved ones, the items need to be packed well. Our trusty paper shredder worked overtime making great packing material out of all those catalogs we received.
Christmas Day Ride on my Boy Thor

 
The New Gang
 
The three new equine are adjusting to their new home and us to them. They all came overweight, so we had been cutting back the food, but it is a fine balance. With colder weather they need more food which helps them keep warm, so Bella lost a little too much weight, we felt. When we got back from our trip we also noticed that she has been chewing on the fence boards. What is the cause of this sudden habit. Off to the internet to do some research, since neither of us has dealt with an issue like this. Some feel that cribbing is an early warning sign of digestive distress and that the horse’s condition is poor. It’s usually only a matter of time before something like colic will happen. When people say horse cribbing results in colic, weight loss, etc…. maybe it’s the other way around. It can be from a mineral deficiencies, a weak digestive system, and/or feeds that are hard to digest. We feed a high quality hay, but we are being very proactive to support our new girl. She is now sporting a new blanket to help keep her warm as we help her put on some more weight. We have added some grain supplements to her diet and they all have new mineral blocks.

 
More Good Bugs for the Garden
 
Syrphid Fly, also known as a hoverfly or flower fly. They are great at hunting down aphids, mealybugs and other pests. They are also wonderful pollinators. The larvae suck the juices out of their victims, and a single larva can consume hundreds of victims a month. The larvae are usually found under leaves in the company of aphids. The adults have been seen lurking around ceanothus, sunflowers, feverfew and other nectar-rich flowers. With their yellow and black stripes the adults appear to be bees, but they have only one set of wings and can’t string. The larvae look like fat, legless caterpillars.
 
A Murmuration of Starlings
Last week we witnessed the stunning migration of starlings. Thousands of birds forming undulating clouds – called a murmuration. A totally amazing thing to behold. We have added that name to the list of great bird group names: a murder of crows, a parliament of owls, an. ostentation of peacocks, a party of Jays, a cauldron of buzzards, an exaltation of larks. Anyone know any others?
Mountain Home Ranch Resort
A Place for Gathering Since 1913
Echoes From the Mountain December 2015

 Up Coming Events
November 30 – December 3
Race Forward
December 17th
Franz Valeey Mother Club and Porter Creek Social Club
 Holiday Party
Decembar 31st
BaySAPS
New Year celebration

Another glorious Thanksgiving with friends and family [many of our guests have been coming for years!.}  Casey outdid himself on desserts (pictured) Pumpkin pie, apple/caramel cheese cake, and candy cane brownies. With lots of fresh whipped cream.

 
Tid Bits
 
 
Thanksgiving leftovers.  Two ideas:  Our leftover mashed potatoes and yams mixed with a little pancake batter and some egg make delicious potato pancakes.  Not exactly latkes, but tasty with homemade apple or pumpkin butter.  The leftover cranberry relish with a little cinnamon and nutmeg added to our muffins makes an unusual breakfast treat.

More Great Opossum Facts
We have talked before about Suzanne’s possums.  She works with Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, and her specialty is Opossums.  They eat rattlesnakes and yellowjacket nests. Yay!  A recent study discovered that another pest ends up in possum bellies:  ticks!  Scientists puzzled why wild Opossums almost never have ticks; unlike deer, rabbits and other critters that crawl through our brush.  The observed possums are meticulous groomers and eat every tick that crawls on them.  Hundreds every day. One more reason to love Opossums

December, winter, a month for reflection, for going within. Pictured a family hike on the centennial trail. As we write this we are sitting on a beach in Maui with our kids, Casey and Ian, and daughter-in-law Aimee, chillin’. Doing some touristy things, snorkeling (the fish and turtles are amazing), luau, volcano, but most importantly, enjoying time together. It is our wish for all of you that you spend some time this month with friends and family, enjoying each other’s company. Reflecting on all that is good in this world – there is so much to be grateful for. Mahalo, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Happy Chanukah,….
Much Love and Gratitude
Suzanne & John

    
Enjoying the holidays with family.
Harvesting Christmas trees from the land, with family. We walk under the power lines to harvest trees that will have to be taken out sometime in the next few years, by PG&E to keep things safe with the power lines.

We love the fall, enjoying the many groups that keep us going. Napa High School Choir has joined us for their 11th year practicing for their holiday season. They are ranked number one in the country and we so enjoy getting into the holiday spirit with their amazing singing.

Mountain Home Ranch Resort
A Place for Gathering Since 1913
Echoes From the Mountain October 2015

 Upcoming Events
Book your fall stay in the Wine Country today
www.mountainhome
ranch.com or 707-942-6616
October
2nd – 4th
Dixon Community Church
Women’s Retreat
9th – 11th
Christie Pitko
Yoga
15th – 19th
Emily and Oliver’s Wedding
Sold Out
23rd – 25th
Nature Way Healing
27th – 1st
Aisha Salem Retreat
November 1st – 8th
BayNVC
Leadership Training


Tid Bit
Pear Season. This year has been an amazing year for fruit. The abundance of everything we are growing has been awesome. Pomegranates, figs and pears are the latest harvest. Having picked over four, five gallon buckets of pears, with more to come; we are busy processing what the guests don’t eat. Core and cut into 1/8ths and freeze we use then for sorbet. Zest a lime and the juice and add some other juice, apple, pineapple or coconut milk and in less than five minutes we have a tasty vegan, gluten free dessert.

During the fire storm in Lake County we housed a number of evacuees, one of which was a Calfire person. Very helpful for getting the inside scoop as to what was really happening. Our efforts were more focused on the animals, wild and domestic, helping out where ever we could. Grateful that things are calm now.

 

The New Equines.
And the re-training begins. It took less than five minutes each to get the bareback pad on the new equine.

Clearly they had been trained at one point and they are picking it up quickly. Loving the new babies!

 

With Much Gratitude
We are feeling so grateful. When John and I met at the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa, we had a tight group of very supportive friends. 19 years ago we woke up to the mountaintop we look at when we are at the lookout, in flames. Oh my!!! Our first phone call was to our Godson’s father, whom we had met through church. Little Ian was staying with us that night and we wanted him home safe. Second phone call to a girl friend who I knew would take our cats and dog. You know who your friends are when you can call them at 2:00 in the morning. We also loaded up the ‘stuff’ that was important to us and I drove it into town for safety and came back. The third phone call was to a neighbor that at 4:00 am came driving down the canyon with his tractor putting in some fire breaks. We all cheered him on from on top of the hill. The men in our church community called every half hour. They had loaded up their vehicles with shovels, etc. and were willing to come up and help us fight to save the Ranch. This was the epiphany for us to take over the Ranch. The high paying jobs and 401k’s weren’t as important as saving the land. That’s when we took the deep breath and took over the Ranch operations. 19 years later, we don’t go to the center anymore and have been feeling a little out of touch with ‘close’ friends. Then these series of fires hit Lake County, the last one so fast and furious that we were put on alert to evacuate. All we can say is THANK YOU for all your love and support. We realize now that our community is SO much bigger now. Friends and family letting us know they will come up to help evacuate the 20 animals we now support, help us fight the fire if it comes our way, and simply prayed for us, visualized big fields of ice protecting us, and so many other amazing rituals were held for our, the animals and the land’s safety. From the bottom of our hearts, thanks you for letting us know how much we and this amazing Ranch are loved.
With deep gratitude
Suzanne & John

Good bugs in the garden – The Ground Beetle. Ya they look a little creepy but they eat many of the soil dwelling pests like slugs, cutworms and root maggots. They are fast-moving predators that are armed with strong jaws. Generally dark brown to black with long legs and shiny, hard front wing covers that sometime have a metallic sheen. They usually hunt at night and can eat their body weight in food every day. The larva also feed on soil insects. They can usually be found hiding in the soil, under rocks dried leaves and mulch. Another good reason to not have your garden too tidy.

Fire Safety
The Ranch has been burned twice in its 102 year history–in 1939 and again in 1964. Both times the core buildings survived, leaving a green oasis in a sea of black.  Some of the earlier preparations are still in place — the lake and the upper pool, both connected to fire hydrants.  We have taken more precautions.  Most of our staff have been trained as volunteer firefighters and the old “7696” fire truck was purchased from the department when John retired [it is a stick shift and the newer recruits needed an automatic!]  This truck carries 1500 gallons of water and a great pump.  We start it up and run the pump every week in fire season and practice with the other pumps at the pools.  Perhaps most important is clearing a defensible space around the buildings — clearing brush, trimming up lower branches, mowing tall grass.  The county even provides a chipper and crew to dispose of the piles of brush, and we had some massive piles this year.  Defensible space not only protects the building in the case of a forest fire, but more importantly protects the forest in case of a house fire.  Even the extensive new trails such as the Centennial Trial, cut by Suzanne’s brother, Forrest [yes, that’s his name!] and the Pygmy Forest Trail cut by Casey Fouts, Philip Able, our chef, and Joseph Saler, a neighbor, are a form of fire protection.  They would allow fire crews quick access to what otherwise would be inaccessible areas surrounding the Ranch.
Mountain Home Ranch Resort
A Place for Gathering Since 1913
Echoes From the Mountain September 2015

 UpComing Events
Fall in the Wine Country
Book your room today
707-942-6616
www.mountainhomeranch.com
September
4 – 7
Labor Day
11 – 13
USF – MBA Program
11 – 13
Andreina Febres Birthday Celebration
18 – 20
Oakland UU’s Family Camp
Sold Out
23
Fall Equinox
25 – 29
Steven Forest Astrology
Sold Out
October
2 – 4
Yoga Retreat

Fourth generation learning the ropes in the kitchen this summer, Johanna Langer, an Austrian cousin and Joe Bertrand, nephew from Colorado. Beautiful fruit trays, cream cheese and chive eggs, apple pancakes, phlaumenkuchen,…  and of course lots of pots and pans. We love keeping the tradition alive.

Our favorite summer time salad, fresh heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar, all on John’s fresh baked bread. Yumma

 
Tid Bit

When your bananas turn black, don’t throw them out. Peel and freeze. Whiz them with coconut milk and frozen berries. A delicious vegan sorbet!

               
What an amazing summer, five solid weeks of relatives visiting: Austria, Germany, Italy, Colorado. A summer full of touristy things, lots of catching up, a family memorial for mom, a plentitude of guests and the addition of three new equine. Wow life is abundant and so grateful for being able to spend time with all of them. The Ranch has always been a gathering place and we are glad to keep the tradition alive. Pictured – Sprites Reflection out of Comara’s Silhouette.
Wishing you and yours a lovely fall.
Much Love and Gratitude
Suzanne & John

                    
Raining Acorns With a Chance of Flooding
 
This summer/fall we are experiencing an acorn crop like we have not seen in years.  A check of the internet chatter reveals that people all over the West Coast are experiencing the same phenomenon.  What does this mean, other than fat squirrels?  The country lore says that a heavy acorn crop predicts a rainy winter.  The last time we had a crop like this was the last time we had floods on the Russian River.  With apologies to our friends in Forestville, we could use some old-fashioned gully washers.  The experts point to El Nino, but we trust the acorns.

                          
The new equines have arrived, with a lot of help from friends. Good friend and neighbor Marcia, brought her trailer over so we could practice with the threesome. Vet checks complete, moving day a friend of my sister Nancy, showed up, and helped load all three into the trailer and off we went. Poor Bella whinnied all the way home. The beauty of keeping them together is they have settled in very quickly and are loving all of the attention. They are particularly fond of the great nieces grooming them and kindly lowered their heads so the girls could reach, way too cute! The Black quarter horse mare, who is around 10 we have named Bella Donna, Bella for short, because she is a beautiful lady. The large mule who is around 17 is Zoey and the mini mule is now Tater Tot, he is at least 20. All are healthy, though way over weight, and current on their vaccinations. The first intro to our horses went well enough. Sprite loves all of them and they her. Thor our alpha and Bella their alpha exchanged some rearing and kicking, so we will take that slowly.
Mountain Home Ranch Resort
1913-2015
Echoes From the Mountain August 2015

Up Coming Events
Fall in the Wine County
Book your room today
707-942-6616

July 29 – Aug 2 Blair Family Reunion

Sold Out

 

August

 

7 – 9

BaySaps

Single Adoptive Parents

Sold Out

 

 

7 – 9

Dreyfuss Family Reunion

Sold Out

 

 

9 – 15

Wild Heart Teachers Training

www.creativejuicesarts.com

 

 

14 – 16

Wedding at Triple S

 

 

16 – 23

End of the Summer

Vacation Time

A Few Openings

 

 

September 4 – 7

Labor Day

A Few Openings

 

 

Pflaumenkuchen

This is a dish that is fun to spell and fun to say.  It is part of my childhood memories of grandma, but unfortunately there is no family recipe.  With the visit by our German and Austrian cousins, we have been inspired to try to recreate the dish.  With all of our fresh plums, now is the time.  True pflaumenkuchen is made with a yeasted sweet dough.  We do a sponge, then a second proofing after adding egg, vanilla, melted butter and spice.  The dough must be rolled thin, as it will rise substantially.  Slits are made in the dough and plum halves inserted in the slits.  We have tried a streusel topping, but l think grandma used a cream and egg coating.  Still working on the other flavors maybe cardamom or nutmeg. Even the mistakes are yummy as we learn.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Fire Safety

With all the fires burning around us, we are very grateful for all the safety preparations we do around the Ranch. Sonoma County Fire offered up free chipping so we cleared a lot of brush over the past six months and reduced the fire load substantially. We just gave a major tune up to our water tender and are planning our next ‘fire drill’ with the staff/residents for next week. Having burned down twice in our history we take this stuff very seriously. Here’s to a safe end of the summer!

Much Love and Gratitude
Suzanne & John

MHR to the Rescue – Equine’s 

Having lost two equine over the past year and a half, we decided to open our stable up to another one or two, mule or retired horse. There are so many that need homes. So we contacted SERRA, the Sonoma County horse rescue. They told us about a case in Calistoga, that Sunrise Horse Rescue was working on. Three equine, a mare, a jenny and a mini mule that were left by owners on a property when they sold it. The new owners did not want them and after a year and a half, contacted Sunrise to please take them, since he could not find a home for them. Oh well what’s an extra one. So we go almost every day to work with them, since they have been left, untouched for years. Manes and tails look like dreadlocks, hooves over grown. Once we get them re-acclimated to human handling again, we’ll do the vet check, getting them current on all vaccinations and worming, before we bring them to the Ranch. Hopefully within the month. Let the renaming begin!!!

 

Spiders are good for the Garden


Spiders that sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away. And while we don’t like them inside, they are great for the garden. They prey on a wide variety of insect pests and are considered the most deadly natural enemy of these pests. Spiders are skilled predators and may hunt with either webs or track their victims on the ground and on plants. They are identified as arachnids, with eight legs and two body parts. Commonly found throughout the garden, spiders are thought of as fearsome, creepy crawlers but very few have a bite that is harmful. Be on the safe side and always wear gloves when cleaning your garage, woodpiles, storage areas or piles of clutter/debris.

Mountain Home Ranch Resort
1913-2015
Echoes From the Mountain July 2015

 Up Coming Events
Summer Time
Book your room today!

 

July 4th  

 

Calistoga Parade 11:00 AM

Ranch BBQ 6:00 PM

Fireworks 9:00 PM

 

 

July 9 – 11

Whang Family Reunion

 

July 10 – 12

Wild Heart Painting

Couples Retreat

 

 

July 12 – 19

BayNVC

 

 

July 19 – 26

BayNVC
 

 

July 29 – Aug 2

Blair Family Reunion

Tid Bits
 

Nothing says summer more than fresh picked peach tacos with oven roasted peppers, cilantro, sharp cheddar and havarti all on a corn tortilla.

 

More Tid Bits
 

We hate to waste fruit but those wild cherry plums are tart. We harvested them, boiled them down with sugar and made some delicious tart syrup for our breakfast pancakes. We also love to serve it over our chocolate desserts.

Can’t take the heat?  Leave!

 

Being out in the country, we are in a constant battle with the little critters that would rather be in the cabins than out in the woods.  We are fortunate to have Brother Robby Fouts with his pest control company that has provided us with regular inspections and advice. The latest, non-chemical, environmentally sound practice:  Use heat!  Heating a room to 130 degrees or more for a half hour kills all pests, or drives them away.  With that in mind, we have purchased a portable heating system that we use in our rooms that quickly raises the temperature above the tolerable level of any unwanted visitors. For your comfort, but not theirs.

 

 

Independence Day.Let’s Celebrate Our Differences!

 

This Saturday, Calistoga will celebrate like other small towns across America with a parade, a county fair and fireworks.  We will celebrate what some amazing men accomplished over two hundred and thirty years ago: create a government of the people, by the people and for the people.  These men had a trust in people to overcome and perfect their ideas.  This country has survived incredible civil wars, world wars, economic depressions and times of plenty.  Always able to adapt to change, yet keenly aware and proud of our heritage.  This past week has been such a time of change.  Whether you are ecstatic or outraged by the changes, let us this Fourth celebrate the resiliency and strength of our common bond.  We have been given an incredible gift in being American.  Let us pass it on.

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’

Much Love and Gratitude
Suzanne & John

   

This past month we have had the pleasure to watch the young owlets learn to fly. Not the quietest activity (all night long) but a wonderful continuation of life here at the Ranch. We love having them here. Mom and dad have to catch 2-5 rodents per night, per baby. It has done wonders for reducing the mole problem in our lower pasture. This is a great thing because those holes were problematic for our horses as potential ankle breakers. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Owl!

 

We continue to pull the algae off Lake Orth. The bloom this year was extensive due to no frosts this past winter and the neighboring Ranch that uses a lot of fertilizers that unfortunately runs off into our lake. This removal is a lot of work but it will make wonderful mulch for the gardens. No chemical eradication for us.

Mountain Home Ranch Resort
1913-2015
Echoes From the Mountain June 2015

Up Coming Events
Book your summer vacation on line today
info@mountainhomeranch.com
707-942-6616

June 11 – 14 

Goat Rodeo

Sold Out

 

 

June 14 – 21 

BayNVC

Sold Out
June 21

Summer Solstice

Fathers Day

 

June 25 – 28 

Frumerman Wedding

Triple S

Still Some Openings

 

 

July 4th 

Parade and Fireworks in Calistoga

Still some openings

 

 


More meeting room metamorphosis. Final Passages a green family directed home funeral organization does the most amazing alters.

 
Tid Bits
 

I love the creative process here at Mountain Home Ranch. We were making coconut macaroon and dang no coconut. So we took some dried cherries and pistachios, whirled them in the cuisinart and used them instead of coconut. A new wonderful gluten free cookie!

 

Fourth generation, Casey Fouts, is cooking meals for groups in the kitchen now. His first meals: lunch build your own niciose salad; dinner, herb roasted free range chicken, stuffed portabellas, mashed sweet potatoes, steamed cauliflower, salad and biscuits. Dessert cheese cake! I love watching the kids grow up!

Summer Solstice

Wow, summer season begins this month and life is busy and full. Babies are popping out everywhere; kits, fawns, owlet’s,…. Then there is Mr. Luna pictured with us. He had an abscessed tooth that got pulled and the lab tests say he has liver and kidney issues. So he is up in one of the houses recovering and relishing in all the lap time. He’s older so we are enjoying as much time as we can with him. The cycle of life is an amazing thing and we give thanks for living life to its fullest every day.

 

We hope you and yours are healthy and happy.
Much Love and Gratitude
Suzanne & John

This year’s growing season has been abundant. No frost, not much rain. Results major fruit set. We thinned many of the fruit trees before branches started to break. We will be turning what we thinned into chutney for our Indian dishes. Green peaches and plums, onion, garlic and spices!!! Hate to waste anything. The thinning allowed for an early crop of peaches (pictured)

Mama fox gave birth to three adorable kits (baby foxes) in the drain pipe of our little pool.  They were too close to human activity. On a Saturday the babies came out for the first time and hung by the hole in the sun, guest were like paparazzi. So we roped the area off to keep guest away. But babies were not as sacred on Sunday and started to wander, thinking the front steps of the lodge were a good place to hang. We are fine having them on the land but, for their safety and the guests, we needed to relocate them. We talked to Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Monday morning and they said the best way was to haze them, making them uncomfortable so mom would move them. So that was the plan. Then we were to put out flour to see if there were any prints to make sure they were gone. We guess the kits talked to their mom Sunday night before we started this process. Kits – ‘Mom those humans out there are taking our picture and making cute sounds at us. They are so nice’. Mom – ‘WHAT!!! We’re out of here’. She moved them to another drain pipe down by the conference room for a few days, but with a little hazing, they are now safely somewhere in the canyon.

Mountain Home Ranch Resort
1913-2015+
Echoes From the Mountain May 2015

 Up Coming Events
Spring in the Wine Country
Book your room today
707-942-6616

May 1 – 2

SRCSL

Practioners Retreat

Sold Out

 

 

May 6 – 10

Final Passages

Some Openings

 

 

May 10 – 16

Wild Heart Teachers Training

Chris Zydel

Some Openings

 

 

May 22 – 25

CDS Reunion

Memorial Day Weekend

Sold Out

 

Tidbit

Over Ripe Fruit 

 

What do you do with an over ripe pear. Dice/mush it up and add to pancake batter with pecans and nutmeg. Very tasty pancakes like you have never had before!

 

The American dream – to ‘own’ a home. Somehow we got away from that concept and have mortgaged our lives away, carrying more and more debt. Here at the Ranch we try to live within our means. Updating the facility off of cash flow. Many businesses take out millions of dollars to do the remodels and then either spend the next 30 years trying to pay if off or worse default on their loans. Every now and then we get comments that ‘the Ranch could be so much more if we updated everything.’ Sure it could, but then we would have to charge a lot more to cover the expenses, and the place would not be affordable for the masses. Grandma and Grandpa made this a place for the working class. We honor their vision doing small upgrades every year and keeping it affordable. Pictured is the latest upgrade to Pines – a Jacuzzi tub and tile throughout the bathroom.

 

Yes the transplanting of tomatoes and other plants has begun. 20 tomato plants started from seed, another 10 heirlooms purchased from a local nursery and 10 trees from the Arbor Day Society. Can never have too many of either.

 

Marian J Hall

February 24, 1933 – April 4, 2015

Mom passed away in her home here at the Ranch surround by family. Her body is now pain free and she can fly with the birds, she so loved to watch.

We are so grateful that we were able to keep her here at the Ranch until the end.

Mom was such a help when we first took over the Ranch, coming up regularly to help with what she could. She used Old English furniture polish on all the dining room furniture, no minor task. She polished the copper cover over the fireplace that was black, and thanks to her, it now gleams, but she was careful to not take all the black off to leave the distressed look. She and my step dad Steve, Ranch-sat for us several times. We always came back to things looking better than when we left. On days she did not come up with Steve, he was our handyman for the first 7 years, she was always sure to pack a treat for our dog in his lunch.

Much of who I am is because of her. She and my dad moved us out of Montclair (Hills of Oakland), to Sonoma County when I was 8, onto a Ranch with horses, cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, cats and a dog. We did 4H, had large gardens, canning and freezing a lot of the produce. There was also a lot of hiking and exploring. A love for nature, animals and home grown food was instilled in us.

She leaves behind her daughters Nancy Pasky, Suzanne Pasky Fouts, Marianne Bertrand, son Forest Pasky, Grandchildren Teri Frost, Joe Bertrand, Casey Fouts, Ian Fouts, Vince Estremera, great grand children Teagan and Tessa Frost, who knew her affectionately as GG. A beautiful family – a fine tribute to who she was.

In loving memory, we are planting a pink dogwood, one of her favorite trees down by the lake. Miss you Mom

Much Love and Gratitude
Suzanne & John

    Recycle Reclaim
 
We just returned from our annual anniversary trip to Mendocino, where we were married.  Our wedding hotel does not allow dogs, so we rented a beautiful house across the bay from the town of Mendocino.  The house was built by kindred spirits — virtually everything in it was recycled building materials:  massive beams from a local lumber mill that was torn down, windows from a storefront demolition in San Francisco, and the “piece de resistance” was the floor — the hardwood from a torn-down bowling alley!  We have a reuse policy with our maintenance of the Ranch:  we tore down a friend’s barn that had been destined for landfill.  After removing the nails and planing, the wood made beautiful wainscoting in many of our units and dining room table tops.  We are regular patrons of the Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, where one can purchase recycled building materials.  We are, today, replacing the sliding door in “Grandpa’s” that had an unfortunate run-in with a guest’s car with a recycled door from Habitat.

Deer and Roses

So many people put up fences to keep the deer from eating their roses. We like to share with the wildlife so we grow our rose bushes really big. The deer prune the lower part and we enjoy the top canopy.

 

Thank You     Thank You     Thank You    Thank You
Thank you for your continued support. It is because of you that we are here starting our next 100 years.
Your kind words on TripAdvisor continue to make us one of the top choices for the Napa Valley/Calistoga/Wine Country. Keep them coming!
Write a review we need your support:
Contact Info
Suzanne Pasky Fouts

suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com

707-942-6616

2015 Special

2015 Special. We are committed to the well being of all animals on this planet. This year we will give a $10.00 discount for your donation to any animal shelter. A few that we support: Sonoma County Wild Life Rescue, We Care Animal Shelter, and Sunrise Horse Rescue. But anyone that you support we honor. Thank You for helping all critters!!!

 

Offer Expires: December 31, 2015
Mountain Home Ranch Resort
A Place for Gathering Since 1913
Echoes From the Mountain
             April 2015

Upcoming Events
Spring is a beautiful time to visit. Lots of wildflowers blooming. Book your room today
707-942-6616
April 5
Easter

 

April 17 – 19
USF MBA Program
Still some openings
April 19 – 25
Painting with Sas Colby
To register
Email Kory Steelman
Still some openings
May 1
SRCSL
Practitioner Retreat
May 6 – 10
Final Passages

 

 
Tid Bits
 

Life is uncertain, eat dessert first. Nothing like fresh picked tangerines and strawberries dipped in chocolate. We take semi-sweet chocolate, melt it in a double boiler, let cool slightly and dip the fresh (dry) fruit. Almost everything tastes better dipped in chocolate. Yumma!!!

 

 

 

This painting of Tiny ‘Queen Moo’  won second prize at the Sacramento State Fair this year! (It’s big-24″ by 36″ on a board!)
Artist
Miriam Ginden

 

We love that our critters make such great models!!!

 

It is amazing, the range of emotions we can hold in our hearts. Incredible joy playing with the great nieces, laughter and happiness hanging with the furry ones, contentment and satisfaction having a dining room filled with happy guests, deep sadness as my mom’s body is failing, gratitude and reverence for the hospice support as we going through this journey. I guess this is what is meant to be human and grateful to have such a rich life. Thank you one and all for walking this journey with us.

Much Love and Gratitude
Suzanne & John

The beauty of a 102 year history are the plantings, the 80 year old wisteria equals a 200 foot arbor of blooming purple. The bees, both wild and domestic, are very, very happy. Sitting under the arbor, it sounds like it is ready to take flight with all the buzzing and the fragrance is amazing.

  More meeting room metamorphosis with Astrologer Steven Forest. Coordinator Joyce Van Horn does an amazing job filling the Ranch for five days. The tables and chairs are set up for 50.

Let’s hear it for Fiber! 
As we are only 10% human, we need to pay more attention to the rest of our bodies — the “microbiome”, the bacteria and other critters that make up 90% of our cells.  While many of us take probiotics to add healthy bacteria to our bodies, the latest issue of Scientific American reports that a much more effective way to increase the beneficial bacteria in our guts is to consume more fiber.  Studies are demonstrating that increasing the fiber in diet immediately shifts the makeup of our gut bacteria toward a healthy mix. At the Ranch, you will always find abundant fruits and vegetables at the table — not only rich in nutrients but in fiber as well.  Lately, we have made a conscious effort to increase the fiber in our baked goods — polenta in our pizza dough, whole wheat muffins and breads, ground flax seed in our pancakes.  Always delicious, and good for the gut as well!

 

Mountain Home Ranch Resort
1913-2015
Echoes From the Mountain March 2015

 UpComing Events
707-942-6616
info@mountainhomeranch.com

March 6 – 10

Steven Forrest Astrology

Sold Out

 

 

March 13-15

Kaiser Physicians

Sold Out

 

 

March 19 – 20

Convent High School Retreat

Some Openings

 

March 20

Spring Equinox

 

 

 

March 20 – 24

Northern California Sheep Dog Trails

Some Openings

 

 

March 20 – 22

Wild Heart Painting

Some Openings

 

Tid BiteRanch preservesWith our abundance of fruit coming in all at once, we can only serve so much of it for breakfast.  Some of the surplus is used to make the delicious jams and fruit butters we serve.  We also have other ways to use the fruit all year.  We cut, core and slice the fruit and freeze it to be used in pies and crisps for desserts.  Some of the frozen fruit can be put in the Cuisinart with a little coconut milk, maybe a little fresh zest or spices and perhaps some apple juice for a quick, vegan, sugar-free sorbet.  Some fruit, like apples, can be dried and served with nuts for snacks.  The challenge has been what to do with all of the fruit that must be thinned in the early summer to keep the branches from breaking under the weight of too much fruit.  We can’t feed it to the animals.  Our solution has been to cook it up with garlic, onion and spices to make the delicious chutneys we serve with our Indian dinners!

We are very committed to the care of all animals, wild and domestic. This is Cassie a 12 year old girl who’s family, old friends, cannot care for her anymore and needs a new home. She loves kids, cats, small dogs, even chicken. She is a little intimidated with big dogs but with time will do well with them as well. If you or anyone you know are interested let us know.

 

 

Wildflower season has exploded here at the Ranch. Hounds Tongue (pictured) Indian Warriors and Paint brush, Ceanothus, Trilium, Buttercups,….. Come on up and enjoy!!!

 

 

We are proud of our heritage. The Ranch has always been a place for the working class to come vacation in the wine county. Rustic and affordable. While we have done a lot of updating of the facility, we like to honor our grandparents and parents by keeping it affordable. There is always the pressure to turn it into a mega resort, but in doing so we would dishonor what our family has strived, and some times, struggled, to maintain. We LOVE the relaxed nature of the Ranch and hope that you do too. If there are things that would make your stay more comfortable let us know. (Mom and Grandma pictured)

Much Love and Gratitude
Suzanne & John

It’s Bare Root Season!

There is a Chinese proverb that goes something like: “The best day to plant a tree was fifty years ago.  The second best day is today.” Over the last 20 years we have planted many trees, usually fruit, around the Ranch.  Winter is bare root season, these trees are inexpensive, but take a long time to mature.  The past several years though, our patience has begun to bear abundant fruit.  Plums, peaches, pluots, persimmons, pomegranates, pears – and that is just the “Ps” – then we have our apples, apricots, almonds, berries, table grapes, citrus and figs.  This year we planted a Jujube, a sweet date like fruit. We, of course, share with the birds and the bees and may four legged critters. Our horses enjoy the apples and as a reward give us lots of fertilizer for the trees, completing the circle. If you have the space, go out and plant a tree – today! Mother earth and the air we breath, will benefit.

 

 

Being Good Stewards of the Land

 

We are excited that we have made the first “cut” with our application to CALFIRE for a carbon sequestration grant.  The first phase of this grant would be for wildfire prevention measures, such as clearing undergrowth and thinning trees, much like the native Americans did 100’s of years ago.  However, the first step will be to retain a Registered Forester to prepare a forest management plan that will contain other management issues.  While it seems strange that clearing vegetation would be considered a part of carbon sequestration, wildfires are a major source of carbon emissions, particularly in the West.  A recent University of California study estimated that wildfires in a bad year can add more CO2 than the state’s entire transportation sector!  Other long-term carbon sequestration and forest management ideas that we have include planting more redwoods in appropriate areas such as on the south side of the lake and around the creek, restoring wetlands with native grasses and plants, such as near the “Holy Tin Shed” and in the ravines that feed Lake Orth.  If you have ideas, now is the time to speak up, as the planning process is beginning!

 

 

Thank You     Thank You     Thank You    Thank You
Thank you for your continued support. It is because of you that we are here starting our next 100 years.
Your kind words on TripAdvisor continue to make us one of the top choices for the Napa Valley/Calistoga/Wine Country. Keep them coming!
Write a review we need your support:
Mountain Home Ranch Resort
1913-2015
Echoes From the Mountain February 2015

Up Coming Events
Make your reservations today
707-942-6616
or on line

www.mountainhomeranch.com

February Specials 
See Below

February 6 – 8

Family Camp

Still some openings

 

 

February 13 – 16

Rent two nights 

get the third night free

Valentine Day

Presidents Day Weekend

Still some openings

 

 

February 15 – 22

Wild Heart Painting

Teachers Training

Still some openings

 

February  20 – 22

February 27 – March 1

Rent one night get the second half off

March 6 – 10

Steven Forrest Astrology

Sold Out

What we put our attention on grows. This month we are focusing on rain, glorious rain. Envisioning a low pressure system that allows to rain to flow into the spring. We are asking all of you to participate – visualize, prayer, or however you want to do it, but let’s do it together and have weather here in California like we did in December!!!

Tid BitsWe have been having a lot of fun with our new crepe maker. They make wonderful individual omelets – we dipped the crepe maker into a bowl of egg, then immediately started loosening the edges. They slide right off. Down the center of this perfect egg tortilla we added a thin layer of softened cream cheese, then some sautéed mushrooms and onions, and two steamed asparagus spears. It rolls up easily. We topped it off with fresh parsley picked right outside the kitchen, where most of our herbs grow. Waalaa, a super yummy, super light omelet and its gluten free.


EO  – A Great CompanyWith our commitment to our community and our environment we use a local, Marin County (next county south) based supplier for the soaps and shampoos in our guest rooms EO® makes real products from real plants for real peopleTheir philosophy – people and their home planet are more important than net profits. They have never taken venture capital and have no plans to do so. They use sustainable packaging,  research & develop in house. Everything they make is cruelty free and gluten free. They refuse to make a product that they wouldn’t use on their own children or grandchildren. That means no synthetic fragrances or any ingredient that has been linked to allergies, sickness and cancer. They use pure essential oils to scent their products, they smell great and have soothing and uplifting effects on our minds and spirits as well as our bodies. Their philanthropic work in the community is outstanding, giving product to many non-profits like Delancey Street. They believe in a holistic approach to health and so do we. While it may cost a little more, we think it is worth the investment for our environment and our guests health. http://www.eoproducts.com

   

What a month January was. We cooked three meals a day for 22 days straight which was great business. Our team worked hard and made some wonderful new food. The month, however, started out with losing our beloved Monty the mule. New Years Day evening, he wandered into the lower pasture, away from the herd and died. It looks like his heart just gave out. We rescued him four years ago and have no idea how old he was. We do know the he was a retired pack mule whose first ‘retirement’ home was so bad the SPCA pulled him out of it. From there he went to another home with only goats and sheep. After a few years that place didn’t work and he went to another home that had only goats, sheep and miniature cows. That place, again, after several years didn’t work out so he came to us. We took him and most of his stable mates (another bad situation) and we found homes for most of them. We had found a home for Monty, with only sheep, but said we were going to keep him until we got his feet back in shape – they were terrible overgrown, chipped and split. Six month later, John got his hooves looking great, but when he met our horses, he fell in love. He hadn’t been around other equine for years and while they didn’t treat him very well, he followed them around like a little puppy dog. He was home. Friends and family have shared so many wonderful stories of his life with us. While he was only with us a short time, he was such a part of our family. We know he had a wonderful retirement here and will be missed by so many. Rest in Peace my friend.

Much Love and Gratitude
Suzanne & John


Living Memorials

 

When we lose a loved one, be it animal or human, we like to plant over them, something in their honor, so when they bloom, change color, or produce something edible we are reminded of them, (bitter sweet). This past year we planted an almond for Barney our sheep, a magnolia, calla lilies and other white flowers for our horse Comara overlooking the lake, a rose over Willy the Billy goat, and most recently a weeping mulberry tree for Monty the mule. There are memorial plants all over the Ranch, including an extensive memorial garden for one of the Ranch’s matriarchs Emmy, mom, which remind us and make us smile. From a practical stand point they provide nourishment for the plants for the first few years and continue to be a part of our lives forever!

 

Meeting Room Metamorphosis


The beauty of our main meeting room is the diversity. Painting studio, sacred space, yoga and movement. The outdoor natural light is abundant. We have also installed LED track lighting for the late night sessions that need lots of illumination. There are straight back chairs, back jack floor chairs, couches, tables for class room style seating for 50+,…. We also have a smaller meeting room and additional break out spaces, for your next gathering at Mountain Home Ranch. The latest group, Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living, where John and I met, created a beautiful alter for their work.

 

 

Thank You     Thank You     Thank You    Thank You
Thank you for your continued support. It is because of you that we are here starting our next 100 years.
Your kind words on TripAdvisor continue to make us one of the top choices for the Napa Valley/Calistoga/Wine Country. Keep them coming!
Write a review we need your support:
Contact Info
Suzanne Pasky Fouts

suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com

707-942-6616

2015 Special

2015 Special. We are committed to the well being of all animals on this planet. This year we will give a $10.00 discount for your donation to any animal shelter. A few that we support: Sonoma County Wild Life Rescue, We Care Animal Shelter, Sunrise Horse Rescue. But anyone that you support we honor. Thank You for helping all critters!!!

Offer Expires: December 31, 2015
Mountain Home Ranch Resort
A Place for Gathering Since1913
Echoes From the Mountain January 2015

Up Coming Events

  
Winter n the Wine Country
Book your room today
or call us 707-942-6616

 

 

January 11 – 17  

Pathways Institute

Rooms Available

 

 

January 17 – 23

Wild Heart Painting

www.creativejuicesarts.com

Rooms Available

 

 

January 23 – 25  

Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living

Rooms Available

 

 

January 25 – February 1

Bay NVCRooms Available

 

 

 

New Years Day was spent with many old time guests and a few new. The big discussion – social media. To do or not to do. We have been having a hard time making the commitment, not really seeing the point. Talking to all of you, the majority, 95+% do not partake. The few that do, talk about putting the message out to attract new business. With a degree in marketing it does not make a lot of sense spending a lot of time, money and energy on something that is not focused on our ‘demographics’. Hmmm. What to do. We will try some over the next year and see what the results are. Would love to hear from more of you. Drop us a note on your thoughts suzanne@mountainhomeranch,com  

Look forward to hearing from you.

Pictured Tyche and a new friend (guest Dog Asta)

 

 

    

 

 Tid  Bit The warm December rains not only filled our lake to overflowing before Christmas – Yay!, but brought out the mushrooms in abundance.  There are very few that we feel comfortable to eat, but those that are safe are delicious.  The guests that stayed with us over New Year’s Eve enjoyed pasta with wild chanterelle mushrooms and fresh Dungeness crab!  Definitely the way to celebrate a fabulous new year.

 2015 – where do the years go? But oh what a wonderful year 2014 was, full of highs and lows. We lost our beloved Comara (our white angel horse), gut wrenching sadness as well as Barney the sheep and Willy the goat. Our animal loses are always so hard, because their love is unconditional. We are so blessed by their presence in our lives. The great stuff – business has been exceptionally good, many thanks to all of you. We are blessed by so many wonderful groups and individuals that share their lives with us. We had the chance to travel a lot this past year thanks to a wonderful staff – all the trips were family fun related. Such a nice change of pace. While we do not make ‘New Years resolutions’ we do some visioning for the New Year on things we want to create in our lives and feel so blessed that we can continue to expand upon what Grandma and Grandpa Orth started 102 years ago.Many blessings to you and your friends and family.Much LoveSuzanne & John

Our CrittersWe have studied extensively in equine acupressure and massage, herbal medicine, and other holistic approaches, and while all very valuable in maintaining the health and well being of us and our critters we cannot exclude the love we have for all of us and them. In all religions there is one commonality – LOVE. When we hold in our hearts, love, all things are possible. We need to look no further than our critters and see the unconditional ‘love’ they give us, and how wonderful it makes us feel. So while we continue to do the herbal and energy (acupressure) support ,we also hold a lot of love in our hearts to maintain the health and well being of our critters. And when the time comes, we will make the heart wrenching decision to help them to the next plain. We will do so out of love and respect for all they have given us.

 

 
Re- purposing at it’s finest. 
 
We try very hard not to be wasteful. Sometimes that means spending a little more to repair stuff. The alternative is to throw stuff out, adding to our landfill problems, and buying things that much of the time are not made in the US, something that is important to us. What this looks like in our day to day work is repairing what we have or buying from local thrift stores and refinishing/repairing. The benefit is that it supports local charities and eliminates the added burden to our landfill. Yes it takes more time, but it is our commitment to mother earth and our community.
 

Rain glorious rain. Wow this December was the wettest on record. The lake is over flowing, the mushrooms are sprouting everywhere. We continue to hold in consciousness that this is the trend for this wet season. It also makes us aware that while this may or may not break the drought, we have been experiencing the last couple of years, we should always be careful not to waste our resources – water and power being the big ones. We will continue to conserve both, for the greater good of humanity and we hope that all of you do the same. We have almost all of our watering on drip and lights on either CFL’s or LED’s. We like to think that we are part of the solution. Join us!
Mountain Home Ranch Resort
A Place for Gathering Since 1913
Echoes From the Mountain May 2014

Upcoming Events

 

May 2 – 4

Veterans for Peace

Sold Out

 

May 9 – 10

Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living

Practitioners Retreat

Sold Out

 

 

May 11 – 17

Wild Heart Painting

Teachers Retreat

Chris Zydel – www.creativejuicesarts.com

Sold Out

 

 

May 12 – 15

UCDavis

International Clmate Change

Sold Out

 

May 16 – 18

Mom’s Sanity Camp

B & B Availability

 

 

 

May 22 – 26

 

Memorial Day

Almost Sold Out

 

 

May 29 – June 1

Swords and Scepters

 

B&B rooms available

 

 

June 1 – 8

BayNVC Leadership Training

 

Sold Out

 

 

When you are planning your next gathering, or know someone who is, please think of us. We appreciate you helping us continue for the next 100 years.

 

 

 

 

Although, sadly, we lost one of the family’s techies, brother Forrest Pasky has stepped into the breach. After spending months out cutting the new Centennial Trial, he now is blogging about it. [we are still not certain what a blog is!] What he has created is as beautiful as the trail itself. Follow the link and see his new hiking map and blogs about all of the Ranch trails, complete with photos and poetry!http://mountainhomeranchhiking.wordpress.com/

And if you know anyone in the tech industry, looking for a program manager, Forrest is great and looking for a new opportunity

 TidbitThis time of year we thin the fruit trees to avoid branches breaking from the heavy fruit loads. This year the growing season was just right when the trees were in bloom and now the trees are particularly abundant. Not wanting to waste anything, we are taking the green apples, peaches and pluats, boiling them down with onions and garlic and make some of the tastiest chutneys to go with our Indian dishes. Also good over cheeses and chicken.

More Tid Bits   Grandma knew best when she added cinnamon to all of those sweet dishes like sticky buns and pie. Scientific studies have borne out ancient Ayurvedic truths about the “spice”. Cinnamon slows the emptying of the stomach and thus mitigates against spikes in blood sugar levels. Cinnamon helps prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes and controls blood sugar to the extent that it is now recognized by the American Diabetes Association. In a study published in the Journal of Diabetic Medicine, subjects given a cinnamon supplement had a more positive improvement in blood sugar levels than those given traditional diabetes drugs. Cinnamon in other studies has shown to increase lean muscle mass and even has strong anti-microbial function. Cinnamon oil has also demonstrated an ability to increase attention span and improve cognitive function. Please pass me another sticky bun, I have more article to write!

One of the things we love about running the Ranch is all of the people we meet. Many of them come back year after year and some several times a year, so we get to know many and call them good friends. One such person from the astrology group that comes twice a year for many years is Jeff Peters. And as a centennial present for the Ranch he made us a bench for the Ranch and not only did he make it, he milled the limber from his land in Oregon. Thank you so much Jeff, we feel very loved by this amazing gift that guests, and we, enjoy daily. (Pictured in the opening greeting)

 

 

 

Spring has sprung and we are feeling very hopeful with the sprouting of new life all around us. To wake up every day to this beautiful land and the wonderful animals, both wild and domestic, that share it with us. This is driven home by the loss of so many wonderful beings and critters in our life over the past six months. Every day is a blessing. We stand in awe of mother nature’s resilience. Thank you to all who have tended this land before us and the generations to come. The cycle of life never ceases.

Namaste

Suzanne & John

 

 

In Loving Memory

Donald Davidson Fredrickson III

August 1, 1960 – April 19, 2014

Our love affair with nephew DD began a long time ago when his parents asked Uncle Johnny to ‘baby sit for a summer while they traversed across Europe. With an unlimited budget DD and his siblings got to enjoy s’mores and other sugary delights. They also got to make jams, can tomatoes and spend a lot of time at the library. A summer not to be forgotten.

Fast forward to 1996 when DD captured the wedding of Uncle John and Aunt Suzanne on film. A beautiful day with special memories. It was also the last time all of his maternal aunts and uncles were together. A man of many talents.

When Uncle John and Aunt Suzanne took over the family business, Mountain Home Ranch, DD was a big part of bringing the operation into the 21st century. Web site development and maintenance, Wifi at the Ranch was a DD operation. Now we have on-line booking, again with the help of our techie nephew. At the family’s Centennial celebration last year 2013, he outfitted all of the family and extended family in commemorative T-shirts. It was an honor to host his 50 birthday celebration, fried chicken and all.

When we had projects too large for us to handle alone, it was through DD’s “village” that we were finally able to get the main roof of the lodge reroofed at a reasonable rate.

Thank you for making our life so rich and blessed. We love you. Uncle John and Aunt Suzanne

                  

 

There has been a lot of loss going on around us, but there have been some wonderful things as well. Thor, our Mustang, has Cushing’s disease. Two of the side effect are not shedding out and hoof deterioration. We have done a lot of research on it. Our vets say the only thing to do is medication, which we were planning to do but thought we would try some alternative approaches first. Cushing is an auto-immune disease, much like diabetes. So we changed his food to a low glycemic diet. Reducing the sugar intake with a grass hay, instead of oat hay was a start. We have, for years, used the leftover oatmeal to make horse cookies, adding ground flax seed and molasses. Now we add turmeric (anti inflammatory and promotes the endocrine system) and cinnamon (promotes the immune system and helps regulate blood sugar) and no molasses. He loves the treats and this year he is shedding out much better than last year. We have also been walking/riding him more up and down our driveway and this teamed with the flax seed, his hooves are looking much better. The side benefit of these walks, because the other animals come, is we will not be needing to weed wack our driveway this year.

Thank You     Thank You     Thank You    Thank You
Thank you for your continued support. It is because of you that we are here starting our next 100 years.
Your kind words on TripAdvisor continue to make us one of the top choices for the Napa Valley/Calistoga/Wine Country. Keep them coming! If you have any photos, please add them they are making a difference!!!
Write a review we need your support:
Contact Info
Suzanne Pasky Fouts

suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com

707-942-6616

2014 Special

2014 Special. Anyone driving up in a hybrid, electric or bio-diesel vehicle will get $20.00 off their total bill. Thank you for your commitment to our mother earth.

Offer Expires: December 31, 2014
This email was sent to suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com by suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com |
Mountain Home Ranch | 3400 Mountain Home Ranch Rd. | Calistoga | CA | 94515
Mountain Home Ranch Resort
A Place for Gathering Since 1913
Echoes From the Mountain March 2014

Upcoming Events

March 7 – 11
Steven Forrest Astrology
Sold Out

 

March 14 – 16
Painting From the Wild Heart
Couples Retreat
Still Some Openings

 

 

March 21 – 23
Maclane 90th Birthday Celebration
B&B rooms available

 

 

March 27 – 28
Every 15 Minutes
Sonoma Valley High
Sold Out
   

 

 

March 29

 

 Dorothy Brientenstein
Celebraton of Life

 

 

March 29 – 31
Dangerous Curves

 

B&B rooms availabe

 

 

 When you are planning your next gathering, or know someone who is, please think of us. We appreciate you helping us continue for the next 100 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Weather

Rain, glorious rain. Strange how half the country is having the worst snow and ice ever and we are in the middle of one of the worst droughts ever. But February was one of the wettest on record YAY!!! So we celebrate – the lake is almost full. A couple more storms and it should be going over the spillway. We have had good storms as late as the end of May, so bring it on. At least here on the west coast, everyone I know is celebrating these last few storms. And while we do the bulk of our watering from our lake, which is now in good shape for the season, we need the water table in the land replenished to keep our creek running late into the season. So we are looking forward to a late rain this year!!!

 
Tidbit
 
Booking Now On-Line!
For the past 18 years, we have booked rooms essentially the same way that Grandpa and Grandma booked them 101 years ago: Paper and pencil notations on a calendar. As our business has expanded, this has meant more and more time on the phone for us. Particularly since we have been named the top place to stay in the wine country by “Lonely Planet”, a very popular travel guide overseas, we receive phone calls in the middle of the night from guests in other time zones. As of this month, everyone can check availability and book rooms on our web site 24/7! Try it out.

Attachment

The Buddha has said that all suffering comes from attachment. With the death of so many of our beloved animals to whom we are so attached, we have suffered. That does not mean we should not become attached, for a broken heart is an open heart. One of the e-mail adages that circulated recently said that one loses part of one’s heart when one loses a pet, and our pets give us part of their heart while they are alive. If we are lucky, soon our hearts are all of the hearts of our pets, and we become like them and learn to live unconditionally. But still, it hurts when they go

Passage Home
By Forrest Pasky

 

when she died
we turned the mirrors
to face to walls
it was so her spirit
would not be caught
in the reflection
of a mirror
impeding her passage
from this world
to the next

 

going home

 

 

February was a month full of life’s happenings. My mom had to have surgery to remove part of her foot and is now convalescing/healing in a nursing home. A dear friend lost her battle with cancer, while a nephew struggles with his. The biggest most challenging part was losing our beloved Comara, the day before Valentine’s Day. So instead of celebrating our love, we reminisced on the love of our beloved horse. She was always the favorite of all the guests, getting renamed by the numerous guest kids – Snowball, Princess.,,,, Deep breathing has become a big part of our daily routine to help deal with the stress. Communing and standing in awe of the beauty that surrounds us. Being grateful for those around us that have been so supportive while we walk through all of this. While we grieve, we continue to deepen our commitment to this land and a vision for a sanctuary where people can heal from their challenges and/or celebrate life. It is with deep love that we say good bye to our sweet Comara. You will be dearly missed and never forgotten for all you gave to us and this land.

Suzanne & John

 

 

Comara’s Silhouette
April 10, 1990 – February 13, 2013
We were blessed with 15 years of love she gave to us and we to her. When she first came to us, she was close to 200 pounds under weight, so after a long fattening up process, the first ride out she did two pirouettes that I managed to stay on. She was a highly trained Arabian that got culled from her herd because she had a slightly turned out front leg that rendered her useless in the show ring and too great a risk for their breeding program. So with a lot of TLC and acupressure she became our amazing girl. She was the first horseback rides for all of our God Children, always so careful with the precious cargo on her back. After a few years we bred her. We had a baby shower and 40 of our friends came bearing gifts. We played traditional baby shower games and when we all went out to give her some of the treats people brought; we were in awe to see the baby kick. Then came Sprite. Comara was an amazing mother, an easy birth and perfect daughter, perfect confirmation. Sprite is the spitting image of her grandfather, Comara’s dad, down to the one white sock, a snip on the nose and a star. Dad was an international grand champion show horse and it shows in Sprite. Comara was a wonderful stable mate to Thor, our Mustang, Monty our Mule, and all of the rest of the menagerie. Saying good bye – It was an amazing process, filled with lots of tears. Comara apparently said her goodbyes to her herd and walked as far away as she could get. When we tried to bring her back, she refused, something she never did. In the wild the infirm leave the herd so they do not bring in predators. So we waited with her until the vet could put her out of her suffering. That slightly turned out leg, over the years, became very arthritic, bowed and painful. The pain medication she was on for the past year, was not working very well any more. She made it very clear she was ready to go. She now rests with lots of white flowers and two flowering white trees one Magnolia and one Tulip. A reminder of her incredible beauty. Of the herd, Thor has taken it the hardest, with us. We sit with him and talk to him. It is getting easier as the days turn into weeks, but is still very painful. Thank you Comara, for your many years of service and friendship, Much love Mom and Dad.

                 

Build it and the Rains Will Come.
With this year’s drought, the lake level was very low, so we took advantage of this and poured concrete pilings to anchor a dock – something we have always wanted at the lake. When we poured the concrete, the tops of the pilings, which are even with the high water mark for the lake, were seven feet above the water level. The rain started while we were finishing the final pour, and now the water is only a foot below the top. Swimming and boating on the lake will be much easier and less muddy this summer and bey
Mountain Home Ranch Resort
A Place for Gathering Since 1913
Echoes From the Mountain January  2014

Upcoming Events

 

BayNVC Leadership Training

January 4 – 11

Sold out

 

 

Pathways Institute

January 11 – 18

B & B rooms available

 

 

Painting from the Wild Heart

January 18 – 24

B & B rooms available

 

 

California Forest Soils Council

January 24 – 26

B & B rooms available

 

 

Jewish Youth Group

January 31 – February 2

B & B rooms available

 

 

When you are planning your next gathering, or know someone who is, please think of us. We appreciate you helping us continue for the next 100 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Animal Friends

As you read this we are sitting on a beach in Hawaii enjoying a little break and finally celebrating the turning of half a century that my Twin sister and I did last August. The sad part was revising the feeding list for our menagerie for the staff that are tending them while we are gone. We lost two four legged friend is past year. Willy the Billy and more recently Barney, our large wether (male sheep) who was struggling with kidney failure. We tried both western and eastern medicine practices, but sadly were not able to turn it around. It is always so hard to lose a loved one, especially one we have bottled fed since he was 5 days old, but sadly it is a part of the cycle of life. He is feeling better now and will help the Almond tree we planted over him, grow big and strong. We were fortunate to find a female sheep at the local animal shelter, who got to meet Barney before he left us, and is now good buds with Betty, Barney’s sister. Wishing you and yours good health.

This is the statement that we lived with when we first took over running the Ranch. When you come to the Ranch, it is posted on the front of the lodge. 

 

Faith

 

“When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.”

 

Patrick Overton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Want Your Feed Back To help us into the next 100 years, we would like your input.Three simple questions:How do you feel when you come to the Ranch?What make us unique?What needs to be improved?We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

How’s the Weather Up There?

We often are asked questions like:  “What is the weather like in December [or February, or May]?”   We no longer know what to say.  So far, this year is shaping up to be the driest year since records have been recorded.  Last year we had heavy rains in November and December.  By the middle of December last year, the lake was going over the spillway – completely full.  Now it is over six feet below capacity.  The groups this past month thoroughly enjoyed the warm dry weather, but we worry about the effect on our native plants and animals.  Normally by now the canyon trails are literally crawling with our cute little newts, enjoying the return of wet weather to lay their eggs and we would go to sleep to the serenades of a thousand mating frogs.  Mother Nature is resilient, and we are confident that she will outlast the things we humans do to mess with her, but still we worry.

Happy
New Year!

What an amazing Centennial Year. The highlights of the year: an open house in April, our family reunion in July, and a family wedding in September. The best part is a renewed commitment to welcoming in the next 100 years. Our family has been through so much in 100 years: two world wars, a great depression, catastrophic forest fires, house fires, births, deaths, life at its’ fullest, and still we come through it all and say, ‘let’s do it again’. The beauty is we know what we are made of: perseverance, commitment, strength on charactor and most importantly love. A love for one another and this land that we have been so richly blessed with. We know we can do this and with your continued support, we look forward to what the next 100 years will bring.

Much Love

Suzanne & John

Centennial Moment 

The more things change the more they stay the same

 

Seventeen years ago, George was trying valiantly to keep the Ranch going as a restaurant and inn, even after losing his wife Joey to cancer and battling illness himself. With such challenges the upkeep of the Ranch was not a high priority. The Ranch was having financial problems and the infrastructure was falling into disrepair. John and Suzanne were living on the property but working professional jobs. On the weekends they hiked the land, reopening some of the old trails and doing what they could to help with maintenance, pools being an easy target, since John spent his childhood working on them. Then one October morning they were awakened to a fire on the ridge of the canyon facing their home. With 65+ MPH wind gusts a tree came into a power pole and started a fire. Fortunately the winds were blowing away from the Ranch, but still made them pause at 2:00AM. They evacuated the few animals they had at the time. What was important ‘stuff’ wise fit into the trunk of the car. What was really important was saving the land. So the first phone call was to friends that would take the animals, and the parents of their baby god son that was with them that night. The next phone call was to a neighbor with a large dozer who was asked to come put in a fire trail down in the canyon. At 4:00 AM a dozer with head lights was making its way up the canyon and a phone tree had been established with friends that were ready and willing to come up and help fight the fire. This was their wake up call.

That winter the family had some hard decisions to make. Who could take over running the Ranch or were things to be sold off? John and Suzanne, along with one other family group put together business proposals and in December the family voted to allow John and Suzanne the opportunity to make a go of the Ranch. So quitting two professional jobs, they took deep breaths and jumped in with a new vision: supplant the bed-and-breakfast model with one that featured group retreats. They converted the old “kids bar” and the original Mountain Volunteer Fire House into two meeting rooms with the hope that “if you build it, they will come.” And come they did. Just take a look at this month’s calendar – a month that traditionally the Ranch stayed empty. New roofs were needed on virtually all of the buildings. John’s job was to fall through, a la “Tim the Tool Man” thereby finding the dry rot. Thankfully we enjoyed the help of Steve Hall, a master carpenter and Suzanne’s step-dad, who filled the role of “Jack-of-all-trades” formerly performed by Duane Sands, John’s step-dad. Over 500 hundred gallons of paint have been applied everywhere. The cabin names were changed from things like “Alcatraz” and “City Hall” to the qualities of our vision: “Peace”, “Love”, “Beauty” and the like. The orchards, once so prevalent at the Ranch were slowly replanted and are now literally “bearing fruit”. The bar and restaurant were closed, but the tradition of serving wholesome, home cooking to the guests staying here remained. The vision included continuing the Ranch tradition of serving youth. For years, the Ranch was home to foster teens – both official and unofficial. We now donate or reduce rates for youth programs for foster children, church youth groups, school groups and several times a year the “Every 15 Minute” drunk driving awareness programs at most of the Napa and Sonoma County high schools. They are proud to have received a certificate signed by Arun Ghandi, the grandson of Mahatma Ghandi, recognizing their efforts towards peace and making he area a better place to live. They were honored to sit and talk with him and hear his stories of growing up with his grandfather. The vision also includes animals, and now feeding carrots to the cows and other Ranch animals is a large part of the Ranch experience. They are dedicated to preserving the land, not only for the future generations of humans, but as a habitat for the animals who are increasingly being fenced out of the countryside around us.

               

Our commitment to this land.

 

The permacultural practices we brought to this land 7 years ago are starting to show the benefits. Wheel barrel loads of fruit from the trees, no major bug infestations and the berms with put in we noticed this summer are keeping the water ways flowing late into the season. A little bit of a challenge for both the family reunion and wedding, but some last minute ditching and laying down of straw took care of that. We are seeing more bird and a more diverse variety of them, happily fluttering around, eating the insects and fertilizing as they go. It feels good to know that every day we do things for this land, to keep it happy and healthy.

Thank You     Thank You     Thank You    Thank You
Thank you for your continued support. It is because of you that we are here starting our next 100 years.
Your kind words on TripAdvisor continue to make us one of the top choices for the Napa Valley/Calistoga/Wine Country. Keep them coming! If you have any photos, please add them they are making a difference!!!
Write a review we need your support:
Contact Info
Suzanne Pasky Fouts

suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com

707-942-6616

2014 Special

2014 Special. Anyone driving up in a hybrid, electric or bio-diesel vehicle will get $20.00 off their total bill. Thank you for your commitment to our mother earth.

Offer Expires: December 31, 2014
This email was sent to suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com by suzanne@mountainhomeranch.com |
Mountain Home Ranch | 3400 Mountain Home Ranch Rd. | Calistoga | CA | 94515