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