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Our January Moon

Our January Moon

Today is a day of dreams apparently.   My horse.   Me.  My writing.

I have the opportunity to go to the best writer’s conference in the West in April.   The question is can I do it ?   Lots of things to consider for sure.

Making enchiladas for our dinner,  got them put together, they are in two baking dishes in the fridge waiting for me to quit typing and go do the evening chores.  


I was going through some photos I have and found the photo above.  I love the moon, I took this  in January.  I took some more shots of my beautiful horse I have for sale and was trying to figure out how to sort those 2000 + photos I have already ….that are un-sorted.  Hmmm again.  

Better get to chores.



Thunder "Big Boy"

Thunder "Big Boy"

Our horse Thunder is an older boy.  Physically, he was apparently broke down by hard riding and to thank him for his hard work, was sold to  a feedlot in Washington state.  Through a varied chain of events,  he arrived here thin,  and very ill.  He was to be here for a short stay, but the woman who bought him backed out and we adopted him into our hearts and home.  Mentally, he is the kindest most caring horse I have ever had.  In the last few days,  he has been off…….but today he was laying down again.  No sign of colic,   just laying down.   I don’t know what is going on with him,  but I do have my suspicions.  All his vital signs are normal, no temperature,   eating and drinking and eliminating normally.  I went into the pasture to see what he was up to,  just check on him.   When I got closer, I realized that he was sound asleep.  Then I was stunned to realize he was dreaming !  His eyes were mostly closed and moving around,  his ears kept swiveling about,  he was making funny faces and his mouth was moving like he was talking………his legs moved slowly, and his tail even twitched !  In all they years I have been around horses,  I have seen them sleep, snore, twitch, but never dream.  I quietly walked out of the pasture, closed the gate  and went home.  Of course it occurs to me when I reach my back door that my phone,  the one in my pocket has short VIDEO clip capabilities.  Another moment I could have saved,  but forever I will see his sweet face nickering in his sleep, looking so happy.

My 1905 Farmhouse in 2006

My 1905 Farmhouse in 2006

Gak.  I am sure you are as tired of me complaining about this weather as I am living with it.  I know it is not just us………everyone I talk to seems to have their own special variety of winter hell going on.  At least there is not 4 1/2 feet of snow on the ground as we did have for something like 7 weeks solid a few years back ( when was that Mom?  was it the winter/spring of 2004/2005 ?)  Mom was in the Caribbean and well, we were in the midst of winter white depression.   One day on the way to town,  I realized the snow had begun to recede.  I mean it was OVER the tops of the tpost fences………and all the bushes were covered.  It was only white.  Everywhere.  So, on my drive to town,  as I crested Bass Hill,  I realized I could see the very tops of the buckbrush !!!!!!!!!!!!!  OMG !!!!!!!!!!  I started yelling in my truck to myself !   It is bad I tell you when one is thrilled to see buckbrush in any form.  It was always gray,  we never saw the sky.  If one drove up the grade,  apparently you could look out over the fog covered valley – but look up and see the beautiful blue sky.   I have never been weather depressive, but that was bad.  Locals here say if you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes.  That 7 weeks was definitely the exception.  Good thing or I would have just gone outside, pointed west and started walking until I got to the coast.  Ugh.   The photo above is our house.   I took this in 2006,  when the juniper by the front of the house was still alive.  It had since succumbed to beetles of some sort when I wasn’t looking and my neighbor cut it down the day that he and his sons cleared away and cut up the large tree branch that tried to kill my Chevy one morning.  Another story another time………..

My mind is whirling with ideas today.  On the docket for today is a trip to town hopefully for food and a few essentials.   I am trying to cook different things for our family dinners each Saturday,  tomorrow I am doing enchiladas. 

Hope you can all stay warm and dry today !

The weather is doing it AGAIN. The last two years, my lilac trees got confused.  Totally and COMPLETELY confused.  They believed the weak winter weather…….and went and budded out to bloom.  Then bang,  we had a freezing rain, and they got killed off.  Bye bye gorgeous blooms………..TWO years in a row.  I am fervently hoping that they aren’t going for three…..and while I have been refusing to even look,  I can see that they are starting to do their budding thing already.   I love these trees,  and I so enjoy their fragrance.  It makes the air heady and just so lovely. 

Lilacs !!! from 2005

Lilacs !!! from 2005

 I took this photo in May of 2005.  I had a great time with those trees,  also using them as a backdrop of sorts for my white peacocks.  Observe…..

Peacocks and lilacs

Peacocks and lilacs

These were my pet peacocks.  In this photo, they are perched on the railing by my back door, sitting on a rug I had just shaken.  Went inside for a snack, came out and wallah!   Instant peacock perch !  They were very silly birds…… I got them as day old babies.  They truly believed I was the “bigger peacock”  and followed me around everywhere.  I loved having them here,  but as I have mentioned,  living on a 55 mph county road – well, once they began to wander and fly around I gave them to a friend who has 20 acres and no road nearby.   I look at these photos and miss them still……… day I will have some again when I can have a huge bird compound for them to stroll about in and be safe.   The final straw for me was driving home I noticed something white near my neighbor’s house……thinking to myself ” what does he have that is white like that there ??”  Then as I realized,  I saw both of them getting ready to jump into the next neighbor’s yard (and he has a big dog…..) so that was that.  Made a call, and my beautiful peacocks left the next day.  Oh well.  After cleaning up various critters from the road here,  I just could not stand the thought of that happening to my big birds.

We were supposed to have a nasty storm tonight,  and while I type I am happy to report there is no wind – at least not yet.  Raining just a bit.

Time to get to bed.  Goodnight all !

We have had weather roll in, and past all day. The clouds are spectacular, and I have seen several double rainbows.   I am sad today,  I lost one of my favorite tiny Serema chicken hens……..she was more like a cat than a chicken.  She was tiny, and could find a little space and squeeze herself out of the coop or run.  I would hear her coming and she would follow me all over watching me feed the goats or horses.  Once I get to feeding the chickens then and only then would she decide she could go home.  Well,  the inside of the coop has several straw bales in it.  They line the wall facing the way that most of the wind comes from.  It has worked well.  Until the rain came, the ground softened and the disabled Nigerian dwarf goat next door pushed the panel on the outside in perhaps an inch or so.  My poor chicken got in the little space and could not turn around.  She didn’t come out yesterday morning, and when I opened the coop, she wasn’t there it seemed.  After pulling three bales out of the way, I found her huddled on the damp ground.  She got into the space and could not go through as the panel moved – and she could not back up.  These chickens do little more than peep usually,  and we had that horrid storm.  I never heard her………and while it was unusual for her to get out twice in one day,  she had done it before.  She took her usual route, but never made it out.   To compound things, the coop light I keep on for heat was off that night due to the power failure,  so she had no luck at all.  I scooped her up and got her cozy in a box near the woodstove.  I had high hopes for her recovery, she ate some and drank – tucked her head under her wing to sleep.  Sadly she died in the early hours this morning, she was gone at 3 am.

I wonder why the special ones, who leave such imprints on our hearts are not here for long ?   I called her “Tiny Chicken” and she knew her name, she would come running when I called her.  Once again, after the fact,  I realize I  did not take a photo of her,  I am going to have to make a sweep of the farm once again and take current photographs. 

Current photos of family and pets – gotta work on that !

It was a dark and stormy night.

Oh, yeah, someone else already used that line ………heehee

Last night, while I was brilliantly typing a missive to a friend,  the power goes out.  Poof.  One second you are looking for spellcheck, the you are sitting in absolute silent darkness.  The only sound I hear is myself saying something uncomplimentary……..goes without saying that I lost the whole thing I had written of course.  Oh well.  My son made it his business to use the wind up battery lantern with radio.  Fine, except that the wind up gear on this thing sounds something like hamsters on speed……..squeaking quickly at first, then ebbing to a slow squeak as his arm got tired………so I gave up and got tucked into bed.  Which was nice, as I would drift off,  until I would be  startled awake from either the gale force winds,  or the sound of the wind up hampster lantern.  Agh.  I have no idea how many times he called our power company,  but I finally fell deeply asleep.  I didn’t even hear my answering machine call out “PRESS MEMO KEY TO RECEIVE SETUP INSTRUCTIONS !!!” when the power was restored.

I woke up about a quarter to three and the power was back.   What a night.  These winds were the sort that broke a branch off the old trees and hit the house and front window with an almost direct hit a while ago.  I kept waiting for that to happen again too.  Lost a few small branches, but ok so far.  I told my son that the poor owl’s must have their seatbelts fastened up in that nest………and this morning,  the first thing I heard was the now familier “hoot hoot” of the owls.  Good.  I am getting used to having them here now. 

So,  I wake up, sit up and on the edge of my bed.  I am happy that the power is on……..then I hear the  most dreaded sound – the kind that makes my heart stop, and my blood run cold.  Hoofbeats on the pavement of the county road, traveling fast.  Traveling past.  NONONONONONO!!!!!!!  My worst fear.  My horses are calling, and I jump into my boots, grab my gloves, coat and phone and run out the door,  asking please don’t let it be one of mine on top of it being loose on the road !   Before I go more than a step or two,  I  can see my miniature horse mares looking towards moms house……and the long driveway.  Yep, theres a very agitated horse there, looking into the yard.  It is not mine.   Thankfully there was a fellow who saw her on the road, and stopped,  and he stayed long enough to make sure I got the gate open and the mare inside.   I got her calmed down a bit,  and called my mom on the phone to let her know that we had company (it is 6:30 am at this point) the horse and I were in her yard now and that I needed a telephone book please.  I of course woke her up,  we are usually up then, but what a weird loud night we had.  After I had called three places,  two police agencies and a neighbor,  here down the street came a four wheeler……..with our neighbor from the large property behind us.   It was their mare.  Now mind, the other time their horses got out,   it was five horses and it was 2 am.  This was a bit better.  I am going to talk to them about a fail safe way to keep those horses in………the results of horse vs automobile are tragic, devestating and horrendous.  I have seen it near a boarding stable many years ago, and I NEVER want to revisit that. 

I truly hope that everyone is safe, warm and in good order today.

It had been so long since we really had any real rain,  it was almost a shock when it finally let go and drenched us.   One of the horses I moved was YELLING at the house…… mind,  when there is shelter,  any horse I have ever had invariably stands out in the downpour.  Something that instinct dictates I think.   I know people who have spent thousands of dollars building run in sheds,  three sided shelters for horses,  only to experience the very same thing.  Oh well.   So, Thunder was yelling for me,  so I knew I needed to investigate,  so I put back on the wet coat,  slipped into the boots and grabbed the flashlight……only to find he wanted to tell me that the wild horse is doing better.  He allowed the horse to come up and sniff my hand,  and watched him very carefully when Spirit was doing it.  He made it very clear that he was to smell and be kind.   Since Spirit had already doing this in his corral,  he must wonder what Thunder is doing,  just going back to the basics I suppose.   This will be interesting,  they are getting along better as Spirit is learning to respect Thunder.  Good horses !

This morning it is just very soggy outside,  so I am off to check the chicken coop and do the regular chores.

More later perhaps !

Sebastapol gander

Sebastapol gander

I really like these kind of geese.  They are beautiful,  supposed to be of kind and calm temperament,  are not overly noisy and are flightless.   These curly feathers are just beautiful.  They are on my list for things to do or look at once we get to move.  Hopefully we will have a pond of sorts,  and will plan a way to keep any waterfowl safe.   Having  had several incidents with skunks and a raccoon,  I am planning safe varmint proof living areas for anything we move with us.   My dogs are a wonderful deterrent and alert system,  but safe housing is mandatory.

We did get a bit of rain today,  not much,  and certainly not the amount that was predicted. 

Have a nice Sunday !

Our Red me the LOOK

Our Red me the LOOK

In our family,  this “look”, as shown by one of our first chicky ladies – is commonly called “the chicken look”.   This is usually accompanied by a rather walleyed leer from the giver to the recipient.  We usually reserve this for especially odd things,  my son excels in it when he does not believe something I have said to him.  There is a bit of neck craning as well.  All in all, the recipient KNOWS they are toeing the line with regard to whatever is going on………….well, I got it tonight.   My son saw the horses and the panels had “somehow moved ???  Mom ??? SOMEHOW ???”  It is known that I have a broken neck.  C-2 and 3 go the wrong way now.  At times I have nerve issues, especially with my left arm.  I don’t blame my neck,  it just is what it is.  So, as I mentioned in my previous post,  today was moving day for our wild horse.  It involved disassembling his corral in part, I needed 4 panels to span one side of a long run on the other side of the barn.  I was delighted (yes, really !) when I realized that this was not going to have to involve dragging or shoving to get them there.  I eyed the Chevy pickup’s camper shell,   decided it would hold the weight of at least several panels,  and threw an old bedspread on top.  “Walked” a panel over, loaded it……….hey, this is great !  I took it and unloaded it.  I had the phone with camera in my pocket.  Did I think to take a photo ??? Nope……… So I did the same with three others.  I usually avoid over the head work in deference to the neck issue, but not today.  I also try to avoid takingany sort of NASID anti-inflammatory pills, because my blood pressure already is bothersome and the pills jack it up too much.  Anyway,  got the panels moved,  got the horse pointed in the right direction and moved in, and got the water trough filled.  I decided to put out our good horse Thunder with the Spirit horse to let him teach Spirit some manners.  Spirit came from a feedlot with an already fused knee and bent leg.  It was us or the slaughterhouse – of course he was misrepresented as usual, he was supposed to be halter broke (well and an intact colt, but thankfully the testicle issue had already been dealt with, he arrived as a gelding – yeah! )  so got the horses relocated and then had to zoom off to town to feed my friends dogs and horses.  Well, before I left,  as I could already barely move, I gave it a lot of thought and took some ibuprofen.  Tonight I lay down for a while before finishing up chores,  and I can move pretty well now thankfully. 

We saw the neighbors whose huge barn blew down, and she confirmed that they did have owls living in the barn…….she said ” Oh yes, we did, I wonder where they went”  I said “HA !  I know where they are…….I now have them in thehawk nest above our house !!!!!!!  The birds seem to be settling in now, which is good I guess.  They are really majestic if yakky.   Oh well,  I am getting used to it now, and it is immensely better than young hawks screeeeeeetttttttcccccchhhhhhiiiiinnnnnggggg for a couple of weeks.  Guess the owl’s better send a change of address card to the hawks,  as in “Thanks for the nest,  have fun building another one !!”

The weather reports said we were going to get drenched, but it is still a dark starry sky tonight.  It does not feel unsettled at all, and once again perhaps we have dodged the big weather. 

As for the “WOW”,  I am just about reeling that I got the panels moved and those horses installed, and even better they are quiet tonight.  It has been a long time since I worked outside so hard, and it felt good.

Goodnight !

Our barn with the mountains in the background

Our barn with the mountains in the background

You know, for what seems like forever we have been getting things in order for my mom to have her back surgery.  I have a working person’s medical background,  I understand most things that have come up so far.  So, when they began asking for a do-over for a blood test.  Ok, then again…….well,  the surgery was put off 10 minutes before ti was supposed to start.  THAT my friends was terrible.  To have mom be on the gurney,  IV in,  both of us nervous and then have the proceedure called off,  well that just plainly sucked.  I am not supposed to say “poor mom” too much, but that was definetly  a day to use that phrase.

Fast forward to more blood tests,  a verbal clearance from the new doctor…..oh yes, once the results of  “one more blood test” come in.  We have had a laugh about her blood going without her to Arizona  then hopping a plane to North Carolina to a lab there.  The doctor had set up a date to do surgery on a Sunday – would have been tomorrow…….and knowing he has a small child we know that is a sacrafice – but he is a cool fellow and really wants to do what he can to help people.   I am sure you can see where this is going………the tests didn’t get back.  So, now we are back to waiting for the results,  and yet another proposed surgery date.  Aghhhhhhhh.  Which brings me back to my original thought,  the unrecognized stresses in our lives.  THAT stuff above is ours,  amongst other things.  However,  I realized last night, as I  crumpled into bed,  that it would be the first night in a long string of nights that I didn’t think   about the surgery being in X amount of days.   I woke this morning with that “huh ? OMG I slept !!!!!!!” feeling.  Much appreciated for sure.

Listening to the weather reports,  we may have a deluge coming.  Goody.  This means I have to get a few things battened down.  I am also going to move a crippled horse we have,  he is wild and he needs to get out of the muddy area he is in.  He won’t be pleased, but it is necessary.

Looks mild outside, it is just cold now, no ice at least.  I guess rain is the price I am going to pay for observing that the ground is drying out beautifully…….as it had been.

Thank heavens I have hay in the barn, and am pretty well prepared.

Enjoy the day everyone !