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Winter 2010 - snowflakes on my truck

For me, nature is a huge part of my outlook on things.  We live in a very rural setting.  Our ranch has been home to many different types of critters.  Retired Thoroughbred racehorses.  Rescued horses from feedlots.  Dairy goats. Miniature goats.  Pygora goats.  Chickens, both standard breeds and my favorite, the tiny Serema chicken.  Doves.  A geriatric Pheasant. The neighbor across the street moved and couldn’t take his ducks and chickens. Since he was the one who alerted us to impending disaster last winter (our chimney was having a flue fire)…I felt I owed him and agreed to adopt his birds.  Search “flue fire” on my blog if you want to read that blog post 🙂

Anyway, nature and the weather rules a lot of my daily activities.  Recently it has been too hot to do much outdoors unless it is early morning.  I haven’t been shooting as many photographs lately either.  Partly due to the weather, partly due to the shaky hands.  Another gift from the Aspartame (artificial sweetener) toxicity I suffered.   It is approaching 4 years since I stopped drinking diet Coke.  Poison people.  Pure poison.  I used to jokingly say “when I start to glow in the dark, I will quit drinking it”.  OMG!  I didn’t glow folks, it sapped every bit of strength out of me.  If you are interested in more gory details, Google “Aspartame poisoning”.  It took me 2 days to do three hours of chores.  It was literally killing me.  So, moral of the story, eat or drink NOTHING that didn’t exist a hundred years ago.  That is how I do it now.

Tweety the magnificent 🙂

One of our favorite birds.  Tweety was brought to me as a “rooster” (HA!)  She is very tame and follows me around everywhere.  One day, several months after she took up residence here, she squawked.  I looked down and she walked away….from an egg! She sat down and laid an egg right by my foot.  What a chicken 🙂

I better get busy, enjoy the day all!


Getting ready to lift off!

The other night, it seemed to me that I was starting to notice a hint of fall in the air.  Where we live is at the foot of a mountain range.  They have a lot of pines, and I could smell that piney scent the next morning.  Today, it is just too bright, brilliant light, not so much clear, but just BRIGHT.  I need a pair of clip on sunglasses for my specs.  Oh well, maybe next month.  I will have to get some before the snow comes again, I went through last winter sticking a pair of sunglasses over my regular ones.  Nope, not again.  I actually ended up walking the path I always take with my eyes pretty much closed all the time.  Like I said, not again, not this winter.


The hot air balloons were at the local airport last weekend.  It was quite a sight.  Mom and I went and then followed them to where they landed.  They didn’t go far, but it was really interesting to watch the whole preparation thing, the flight and then the landings.

Good flight

Loved this……..

Tacked up on one of the balloon trailers doors 🙂

I agree, but make my ride a Stearman biplane ok?

Hot here, ready for summer to go.  Not for snow to come, but heat can go 🙂

Enjoy the rest of the weekend all!

Hot air balloon getting aired up - note the flame inside balloon upper right of photograph

Hot air balloons came to Susanville this past weekend.  Very interesting and impressive.  It is beautiful and serene – until they use those propane jets to fill or lift the balloons with hotter air…then it is LOUD 🙂 Fun to see. More photos coming.

How often do you realize that the things you use, see, watch, listen to etc, change?  In the last few years, I notice it more and more.  Perhaps you were used to purchasing a specific type of chili?  Now you find it isn’t in your local supermarket, nor in any of the other stores?  Perhaps it is chunky applesauce you have enjoyed your whole life….then it is gone – poof!  Gone from production, not just the store.  Now you see it, now you don’t.  Grr.  Just a tiny botherment in the whole big picture that is life, right? Yep.

For the past 9 years we have lived here, at night I have heard what sounded to be a bird.   I didn’t know that there was a kind of bird that flies at night aside from owls.  Well there are, they are part of the nightjar family.  I just realized that the sound I hear at night is that sort of bird.  I have never seen one fly, but heard them frequently.  They eat flying insects and have tiny feet and legs.  They don’t perch on a branch, and they walk very poorly.  They nest on the ground and are very interesting.  I had the opportunity to see one recently that had been injured and is being rehabbed to be released. Neat bird! Oh, it makes the same noise the wild ones I had heard do…..that was how I made that connection 🙂

Since I was young, I have baked. Homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Well, lots of other things too….sometimes chewy.  Sometimes crispy.  Maybe at times chocolate chocolate chip.  I used shortening for many years, then changed to butter.  The butter ones you have to watch the amount of flour, and baking time.  That would be so they are crispy and not hard to eat.  One day I realized that the recipes for cake/bread and cupcakes are all pretty much the same taste wise, just different volume for the finished product.  Interesting.  Baking is a science, that is the fun part.  If it were boring I would not bother with it.  I am like that you know 🙂

We just had an amazing sunrise.  Clouds and a few sprinkles if you can believe it. Lovely and cool right now.  Most mornings like this I would have grabbed my camera and raced outside.  It was definitely worth it, but I am tired….and mostly I didn’t bother because I am irritated that my hands shake.  Too much for good focus at times.  It is very frustrating.  One day, when I can do it, I am going to buy one of the new fangled cameras that has a function that minimizes that tremor and that will be fantastic.  Bummer really, the rheumatoid arthritis has taken the ability from me to draw and paint.  I did calligraphy many years ago and now that skill is unusable as well.  I am however lucky with how this is affecting me, I can still type, and while my hands and feet are suffering most, it could be much worse.  I just have to remember that when I have to pass on doing something that I can’t do easily or at all.

The chicks from last month are fully feathered and are out in the bantam coop now.  At first they were like ???!?!?!?!?! AGH!  Now they are cheerily cheeping at life.  They are in a large cage inside, getting used to seeing the scarcely bigger chickens.  I think the tallest hen I have may be 8 or 9  inches tall if she stands on her tip-toes.  Cute things.

Working on my book, in the hand edit stage and looking forward to putting it right so I can be happy sending it off in the world 🙂  Going to be hot again, enjoy the day all!

My white peacocks on the rail outside the back door...near the lilac trees

Where did this week go already?  Oh well, we have gotten lots done around here. Things here at the house, at mom’s.  Good week so far.

So, these are my white peacocks.  It had been a while since I put them on the blog.  Beautiful birds 🙂

Anyway, hope everyone’s summer is going along alright.  The temps here have not been terrible, at least not yet.  I appreciate that, easier on humans and animals alike.  Working every day writing, sorting through boxed stuff.  One day when we move to the Puget Sound, there will be less to move 🙂

Busy day planned.  Part of the day we will be running errands in town 13 miles away. For me,  part writing, part making a new pen for the four chicks that hatched last month.  They are mostly feathered out, and I have been remiss in taking more photographs of them.  Soon.

Whatever you are doing, stay cool!  Enjoy the day all!

A routine of blogging for one thing.  There have been so many things going on that it becomes hard to even think at times – or so it seems.  Mom is doing well, the weather isn’t too bad, and I have much to write.  On the blog, but most importantly work on my WIP.  That is “work in progress” just for the record.  In doing a massive amount of reflecting on life, I have come to the opinion that I must have calm in adequate doses.  One part of calm for me?  A real estate listing photo of a home on the Puget Sound.  Once long ago, I stayed at a B&B on Bainbridge Island.  The view was quite like this view I will post below.

1759 Miracle Mile Drive Port Orchard WA # MLS#:209860

The B&B had this sort of view, where one could lie in bed and watch the Sound. The ultimate in peace inspiring calm for me.  I have this photo on my computer desktop, so it is the first thing I see when I turn the computer on.  It is the last thing I see when I shut it down for the night, never-failing to take half a minute to soak in the calm of the scene.  Ahhhhh 🙂

Better get back to work, have a great day all!

Interesting textures.........

There is always something to notice.  If it is on a drive to town, it usually has something to do with seasons.  The buckbrush is covered with snow.  The buckbrush is blooming.  Or leafing out.   Or tinder dry, which leads to hoping no one is careless and starts a fire.  There have been two recently within sight of our place.  Both were put out quickly.  Once some years ago, I was in the house, middle of the day, when a car comes screaming into the driveway, horn honking.  I go out, and the people are yelling “FIRE!!!”  Omg.  Yes indeed, across the street, behind the houses, in the field of the ranch.  The wind was blowing.  It was more than a bit alarming to have the air tankers dropping water and flame retardant.  Too close.  Thankfully it didn’t burn any structures.

The photo above I took late afternoon at mom’s house.  Baby’s breath flowers grow wild here, and we brought some inside.  They are on top of her china cabinet.  The sun was coming in through the window above the sliding glass door.  🙂 Fun.  Something everywhere you look.  Or listen.

There are swallows nesting in the eves of mom’s garage.  They very diligently built their mud nest, and I have been hearing baby swallows chatting when I walk past.  They raised a clutch several years ago, and it was fun to see them back again.  I will try to remember to get a photo of the nest.  So intricate.  Also federally protected.  Don’t knock their nests down!  They can be removed when the birds migrate away.  Then if you don’t want them there, prevent them from building, use mesh netting and they will build somewhere else.

Last night, for the first time in a long while, the owls were back.  They are great horned owls, and have raised two sets of chicks.  This spring however, they moved away.  I could hear then down the road, past the ranch across the street.  I have been quite sad about it, I loved to hear them talking at dusk, or during the night.  I think these that were here last night are a young pair and they were inspecting both nests in the trees above the house.  I hope they saw the “for rent” sign 🙂  Would love to have them here.

It is getting late, have to get to chores.

Enjoy the day all!

The bird fountain 🙂

I have been so busy, that blogging has fallen through the cracks….for that I apologize.

I find as I am writing and working and then going through boxes, I am reminded of this story.  About a man whose wife passed away without warning.  As he was packing her clothing to donate, he found the beautiful negligee he had given to her for their last Christmas together.  She had never worn it.  He remembered her saying “I will save this for a special occasion:)”.  That day never came.

Our family has been in a state of constant disruption for too long. Years.  Seven years perhaps.  Our place was for sale for a long time, but  we had originally thought we would be here forever, and ended up overbuilding for the area. Oh well.  We were here to go through a number of medical things, mom’s replacement parts (the Bionic woman you know)….and my emergency appendectomy.  Lots of stuff. You know, just stuff.  Things that happen, come along and we deal with it all.  We just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

So, back to the keeping things then not using them.  Let’s see, I will try and relate this in the correct order.  Our “big” store in town, 13 miles away is WalMart.  Yeah, heard it all before, but it is all we have.  So, two years ago, they stocked a fountain with a bird on it.  See above.  It was (gasp!) at that point $149. Oh RIGHT! Like that is gonna happen.  So, they may have sold a few, but most went into storage for selling the next season.  Then last spring, they are put out again.  This time for $ 129.  Still right, never mind.  All year I noticed the price dropping.  In the fall, when they were clearing things out for Christmas stock space, they did sell a few when they were I think $49.  Then they sat.  I noticed when they were still there and were $39.  One day when I shopping by myself, I walked in through the garden area.  There were the fountains. Perhaps 3 of them.  They were now in the main garden area, for $39.   However, staff was working on moving stuff, and they put up a 50% off sign on them.  So for about $20 bucks, I brought one home.  I put it in storage, where it sat until the other day when I was looking for something out there.  I looked at that fountain, and decided that it needed to get out of storage. It needed to be used and appreciated.  So, now it is on mom’s front deck.  It makes a delightful water feature sound 🙂 I would say we are appreciating it now.

There are many things packed for “the great move”.  One day we will do just that.  But in the meantime, I am going to make sure we use the things we love, enjoy the things we have.  Not worry about where on the planet we are.  That is about all I can say about that for now.

Hope you are staying relatively cool wherever in the world you are……enjoy every bit of each day.  And unpack those things you are “saving” to use.  We won’t get back any of the time we have waited to use these things, so use them now!