Search Results for: the ranch

The Ranch

In honor of Texas Independence Day, I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk a little about my favorite corner of Texas… my family’s ranch. My Daddy could tell you many more details, but I’ll share what I know.

On the southernmost tip of Texas, just before the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico, lies Palmito Ranch.

My family has witnessed a lot of Texas history on that ranch. It was first acquired by my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Praxedes Orive, around the time that that part of Texas was switching hands from Spain to Mexico in the early 1800’s. (I’m not sure exactly when and although I think I remember my dad telling me why/how, I don’t remember that either).

My great-great-great-grandfather, Antenogenes Orive, was born on the ranch in 1845, the year Texas became a state in the Union. He used the ranch to grow cotton, and at some point during the Civil War the ranch was one of the most productive cotton producers in the United States. Someone once told me that this was because we were smuggling extra cotton from the ranch across the river in Mexico, but Mamo says she doesn’t think this is true. I know the ranch’s location by the river mouth did allow for convenient transport to the rest of the United States.
In May of 1865, the last battle of the Civil War was fought on my family’s ranch. It is known as the Battle of Palmito Ranch, and you can read more about it here. When I was little I was afraid that I’d see a Civil War ghost or something spooky but I never did.
Below is a picture the house Atenogenes and his wife Cenobia Hinojosa Orive lived in. They had 16 babies here – 14 survived. The girls would sit on the porch in the afternoons and try to stay out of the sun. Atenogenes Orive, Jr., my great-great-grandfather, also lived there. The house is no longer there. (Information courtesty of my distant cousin, Tía Cookie)
My great-grandmother, Carlota Orive, was also raised on Palmito Ranch. By that time, the ranch had been divided between all of the Orive children. When she grew up and got married, her husband, Damaso Feliciano (D.F.) Lerma, began buying pieces of the divided ranch from Carlota’s relatives. Mamo (my grandmother who ended up marrying D.F. and Carlota’s son) says they ended up acquiring about 1500 acres of the ranch, which is what our family has today.
My grandfather, pictured below, was the next person to take care of the ranch.

Mamo & my grandpa came up with this brand for the cattle. Another name for the ranch is “Circle L” ranch. (“L” is for Lerma, circle is for the shape of the ranch.)

Now, my Daddy takes care of the ranch.

And finally, here are some pictures of me growing up at the ranch. According to my mom, I was almost born there. When she went into labor with me, my dad was at work in town which is about 20-30 minutes away. She had to wait for him to come get her and had me shortly after arriving at the hospital.
My great-grandmother, Carlota Orive, and I with the Rio Grande in the background.

Me, Steph, and baby D.J.

We had so much fun at the ranch when we were kids. We would run around everywhere, play hide-and-seek, ride horses, and check out all the other animals. It’s crazy to think that my great-great-great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, great-grandmother, grandfather, and father (along with my aunties, uncles, etc.) all probably did the same things in the same exact place. I’m a little bummed that Eva won’t be raised around the ranch like we all were (until she’s about 10), but I hope she still ends up appreciating it the way I do. It’s my “Tara.” ♥

Damian’s Third Birthday

Last Sunday we celebrated Damian’s third birthday. We had a little party for him at the ranch, where Evita had her second birthday party and I celebrated too many birthdays to count. Damian requested a Ninja Turtles theme, and has been reminding me about it pretty much every day since Evita’s birthday party last month. It ended up being a beautiful day with nice weather and lots of smiles. Here are a few pictures…


 tothesea travel page

North America



Joshua Tree National Park
Mt. San Jacinto


Waimea Falls
Maunawili Falls
Winter in Hawaii
North Beach
Puu O Mahuka Heiau
Valley of the Temples
Jackass Ginger

Big Island
Mauna Kea at Dusk
Akaka Falls
South Point
Waipio Valley
Papakolea Green Sand Beach


New Orleans



New York

An Afternoon in Manhattan
Celebrate Brooklyn
Coney Island




Brownsville Charro Days Parade
Dia de los Muertos in San Antonio
Palmito Ranch
South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center


Virginia Beach
Maymont Estate
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Government Island

Washington D.C.

The Supreme Court



British Columbia



Searching for Waves
Blue Hole

South America


Galapagos Islands

Studying Abroad
A Volcanic Eruption

Caving Galapagos
Los Tuneles
Floreana Pirate Caves
Swimming with Penguins
Galapagos Tortoises
Isla Tortuga



Mikumi National Park
Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Village Museum
Bongoyo Island
Downtown Dar
Uruhu Street
Cliffs at Coco Beach
Sea Caves at Low Tide

Prison (Changuu) Island
Kanga Wars
Stone Town
Stone Town Slave Market
Kendwa Beach
Dhow Sunset and Snorkel Cruise

South Africa

Lion Park




The Eiffel Tower




Road Trip Through Italy
Ancient Rome
The Colosseum
The Pantheon
Trevii Fountain
The Vatican
Duomo di Milano
Cimitero delle Fontanelle
Pompeii Ruins




Drive-thru Slovenia



A Random Beach in Okinawa
Statue of Shinran Shonin
Ryugujo Butterfly Garden
Mihama American Village
Doctor Fish
Zip Line Okinawa
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Araha Beach


Getting to Boracay
Scenes from Boracay
Mount Lubo (Boracay)
Crystal Cove
Scenes from Manila
Intramuros (Manila)
Pansanjan Falls

Middle East

United Arab Emirates

Hello Dubai
Burj Khalifa: The Tallest Building in the World
That Time I Spent the Night in the Dubai Airport

6/52 {pregnancy/baby/life updates}

Another week with not a whole lot of blogging. I’ve been busy with lunch dates, outings, and catching up with family. Plus, not having a nanny anymore is cutting into to my blogging time! Hah. I have so many e-mails and comments to catch up on. I’ll get my rhythm back eventually. Eva needs hers back too. She’s still not quite used to the time change and has been waking up in the night. There was one day of complete fussiness where I actually thought she might be getting sick, but after about four hours of napping she was in a better mood. The cold, bouncing around, and constant go-go-go was a lot for her to have to adjust to. Here’s what last week looked like… a cold one that finally ended in sunshine.
On Wednesday we met up with Eva’s cousin Isla (and her mama) at the Children’s museum. They had soooo much fun playing together. Watching them interact is a joy. The fact that they’re matching in these pictures was totally unplanned!
On Sunday it finally warmed up enough for us to go the beach. We couldn’t go in the water, but Eva had fun running around in the sand and playing on the playground with my mom (her GiGi).
Weekly Video(s):
1. Playing in the sand.
2. Mad that the water is so cold.
3. D.J.’s coming!
4. Checking out the horses and goats at the ranch.
(02/07/14) My belly is growing exponentially and I’m starting to get into the uncomfortable point in pregnancy. The rib pain is definitely not going away but at least it’s not as bad as it was last time (yet). Damian is moving around a lot… even more than I remember Eva moving around. He has the hiccups often but not quite as often as I remember Eva having them. The numbers on the scale are finally going up, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’ve been enjoying all the yummy foods of South Texas. Oh well.. I’m still on a healthy track, I think.

You guys… I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back in a real gym again. I’ve had an amazing week of workouts and I’m feeling pretty darn good.