Martin Clunes at Grapevine Canyon Ranch

Martin Clunes on his horse

I hope you are all out there scurrying around with Santa, getting those last minute gifts!! When my parents were alive, we used to celebrate Christmas at their house in Tucson, and often my sister and her family would come from New York to help us celebrate. Those were great days, but they were also very stressful – the whole furor of buying gifts, wondering if they were the right gifts, the drive into Tucson, with a 160 mile round trip and a day gone from the ranch, with a late night return – they were stressful days. So now, all alone, I am enjoying Christmas – dog Tuffy hasn’t heard of it, horses Comanche, Tequila, Scotty and Chikala don’t care, and so this year for me at home, no Christmas lights polluting the night skies, no tree cords to trip over, and no mess to clean up. I do think that with all this commercial spirit we have totally lost the meaning of Christmas anyway, so I, with my dog, horses, pet cows, goats and sheep will celebrate it the way it was meant to be – simply. I might even go and sit in the goat barn – nearest thing to the Manger.

Cattle Behaving Nicely

On the other hand, of course, Grapevine is exploding with the Christmas spirit. The Longhorn Room is already beautifully decorated, with lights going up bit by bit and day by day, and soon the birds’ Christmas tree will be up also. For those of you who haven’t been here during the holiday season, this tree is a giant century plant stalk, sprayed silver and gold, with little baskets of bird seed hanging off it – and you can sit on the bench outside the dining room and watch the birdies enjoying fighting over the goodies – not much Christmas spirit there, but it’s honest greed, and it’s entertaining!

Singing around the camp fire

And we had a great time here at the ranch recently. A British ITV 1 crew with star Martin Clunes was here filming a segment on the history of man’s relationship with the horse, as I mentioned in the last blog. They were a great deal of fun. Martin is an extremely charming man, and that’s always so nice to see in a famous personality, as quite often they’re puffed up with their own importance – but not this man. He is truly delightful, and we had a lot of fun with him and the whole crew. The cows co-operated like the little movie stars they are, and we are looking forward to seeing the finished segment which is scheduled to be aired in September 2010.

But I have other news. There has been a shake up at Grapevine, and you will be glad to hear that Bonnie, our so popular reservationist, is back at her desk. She received so many joyous e-mails on the news of her return that I thought I would publish some of them here:

“Well it is about time, I missed you being there so much. Now it is my turn to say welcome home! Most sincerely, Kerin”

“Welcome back!!! Can’t wait to see you in April..” John & Margie

“What wonderful news!! The front desk has been pitiful ever since you left. We already have our October reservations. So welcome back and I’ll try and stay away from the Hawks.”

“Hi Bonnie, Yippie, she’s back again !! That’s the best news I heard this year. You belong here like Danny. I’m so glad to see you in June. Take good care of you!” Gabi

“That is very good news, you just cannot stay away from the cow pokes and Wranglers. Well we are already booked for next year, so we will see you for sure. For now you and Danny have a wonderful Christmas and celebrate the coming of New Year.” Love Mariana and Milos.

“Bonnie! That is about the best news I have received or heard regarding Grapevine in a looong time! Congrats and I am really looking forward to having you there again. That will do wonders for the spirit!” Rudi

“Dear Bonnie, How nice for you to be going back to the ranch, I envy you! I could do with a couple of weeks there but not just yet, still who knows I might find some time and money and get there. I have been out of touch for too long. So glad you’re going back, maybe it’s time I did too.” Nigel

Hi Bonnie, JUCHUH and HOW WONDERFUL. You are right my dear that makes us happy. That is really good news. We wish you a good start next week and are happy to see you latest on October 6 next year. Keep on rockin’ my dear and much love also to Danny.”
Conny & Wolfgang

At the same time, there are several people who are no longer with us – you can check that out on the staff page, as there’s no point in going into details here.

And, even though I don’t think he will read this blog, I want to thank a long time guest and friend, Hubie, who sent me a fabulous black-lead glass vase inscribed for my 25th anniversary at the ranch. Such a wonderful thought – it will always hold place of honor in my heart and at the ranch! Thanks, Hubie! (Gerry used to call Hubie “High Pockets” – as he’s very tall – so some of you reading this will have no doubt as to his identity.)

So keep on shopping – the economy thanks you! and if we don’t chat again, have a great Christmas!

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One Response to Martin Clunes at Grapevine Canyon Ranch

  1. Vicki Starin says:

    Dear Eve,
    I am so sorry to hear about Dave, what a guy. I will dearly miss him, his talent and his sense of humor. Jan and I always made sure we were at the ranch on Thursday so as not to miss Dave, Danny and Steve.

    All of the changes at the ranch must be difficult for you, especially at this time of year, not that it would ever be easy. Of course, I am so glad to see Bonnie back, and so many of the staff that are still there that I look forward to seeing.

    I wanted to let you know that my husband and I will also be spending a quiet Christmas at home, with our dogs, horses, goats, pigs, pet cow, and a very old cat. That is about as close to angels as we can get right now, and I will also be thinking about you, we might be in different goat pens, but still together.

    Hope you and all the wonderful, kind people at the ranch have a very Merry Christmas and the best New Years ever.

    My thoughts and prayers are also with Dave and his family.

    Sincerely,
    Vicki Starin
    Prescott. AZ

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