Thursday, July 28, 2016

Always There For Me

I took a drive to Cambria the other day to escape the heat and smoke filled skies that are locked in here.   Smoke continues to drift down from the big fire near Big Sur and 100 degree temperatures keep it very oppressive.   I crossed my fingers that my place of calm (and fresh air) would be as welcoming as always.

There were tourists around, but not a lot.  Kids were crawling and bopping around like they do, getting out that energy that kids carry around with them.   I watched one girl, probably around 8 years old,  practicing her little hip hop dances on her own while her mom took cell phone photos.   The girl would do something funky, talk to herself and smile.   In her own little world.   As was I.

Cambria never disappoints.   It's always there for me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


If you think about Summer as June-July-August, we are halfway through.   Summer activities, festivals, fairs, family vacations are all in full swing.   In our area, the California Mid-State Fair kicks off this week.   It's always had a small town feel with some long time traditions that people look forward to.   The fair always kicked off with a cattle drive through town.   I believe last year was the first year ever that it won't take place.   I don't remember the reason but I think it had to do with the gathering point becoming unavailable because the land had been sold.   Sad that another symbol of this being ranch country has gone away.   

Another thing that has changed this year for our fair is that they will now be conducting metal detecting scans.   *sigh*   We all know what they're looking for.   Weapons.   We are a county of small communities that have seen the growth of gang related activities.   I'm sure in light of all the violence and attacks on policemen, there is a concern about that as well.   

I hope everything goes smoothly at the fair, that everyone enjoys the great concerts that hit the stage, and the food.   Oh yes, the fair food.   I didn't go to the fair last year but will probably walk through the exhibits this year.   And yes, even though I've been eating more healthy recently, I must have something that is absolutely sinful and decadent.   The cinnamon rolls are unreal.   That will probably be my indulgence.   If they ever take the cinnamon rolls away from the fair, there will be hell to pay.   The lines are long, the rolls are fresh from the oven, and they send you instantly into a sugar coma.   But who cares?   It's the fair.

We had a few things on our list that we wanted/needed to complete early in June.   They didn't happen in as timely a way as we'd hoped, but the third of three should be completed this week.   We'v been going through a refinance and it has dragged into the most ridiculous process you can imagine.   After the past 3 weeks of sorting through the delays and lack of communication, it is supposed to finalize very very soon.   As we suspected, there was an incompetent employee in the middle of it all, and we were informed yesterday that she was let go for not doing her job.   

And so it's halftime.   I haven't been out with my camera much.   I have been riding a lot and that's a good thing.   Erik has been trying to keep our trees alive in spite of a county-wide gopher invasion this year.   We have lost nearly all of our fruit trees and they are now trying to kill our Pony Plums.   Over the weekend our 20 Fuji apples on a young tree completely disappeared....overnight.   There are pieces of branches on the ground and we suspect a deer came through for a snack.   I feel sometimes that we're out on the prairie and fighting against the elements at every turn.   Crazy.   We'd like to have a nicely manicured property but it's expensive and frustrating.   But we persevere.   And cross our fingers.

So life is always a mixed bag, isn't it?   All the horrific things going on in our world, yet people just trying to enjoy life and experience the Summer fun for themselves and their families.   My wish is that things quiet down and the second half is more peaceful than the first.   

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ups and Downs

We all have weeks/days like that, right?   I have been talking with someone for at least two months - or more - about my horse, Buddy.   They would ask me a hundred questions via email, then kind of disappear for a while.   Then the man came to try him, see if they were a fit.   Then nothing.   For about a month.   Then back again, interested in purchasing Buddy.   Finally, he showed up with his trailer, the vet (for a pre-purchase exam), and check in hand.   On Tuesday I sold Buddy to a fabulous home in Carmel Valley where horses check in and never leave.   All my anxiety about selling melted away and I was happy, relieved, finally able to exhale.  

We had dinner.   After dinner, I went outside to feed the chickens for the evening.   There on my front step was my beautiful rooster.   He had collapsed and was gone.   After all the emotion of the day, I just broke down.   He was such a big part of our place.   I am still sad.   When I think about him, I tear up.   He was a pet, not just a farm animal.   Always talking, always there, always underfoot, begging at the door for Cheerios, taking care of his girls.   It's a loss and I haven't come to terms with how much I loved a rooster.  

I've lived here for almost 14 years and have never seen an eagle on our property.   Yesterday I went outside to get the hens in their yard after hearing a hawk nearby.   I got them settled, looked up, and an eagle soared over, then landed on our back fence.   He/she was there for about 30 minutes.   I was in awe.   Just nature or a sign from the universe, I don't know.  

When an eagle drops by, just stop what you're doing and watch it.   It may never happen again.

Monday, June 13, 2016

It's Perfect - We'll Take It

It's been perfect weather here.   Squeezed in between the last heat wave and the one that's coming next weekend, we have enjoyed cool mornings, pretty cloudy skies, and the kind of weather you would like to keep all summer long.   There were horse events over the weekend that I attended for a while, watching friends show.   So different, one from the other.   There was a dressage show at the relatively new Paso Horse Park, a terrific venue that's hosting quite a few hunter/jumper shows and now dressage.   Normally in the summer it would be blazing hot in and around Paso Robles.   We were able to wear hats and sunscreen and be perfectly comfortable on Friday.

On Saturday some friends showed their horses at a completely different venue.   They showed in Western Dressage and also natural trail obstacles.   Very casual, laid back, not so serious environment.   It was a lot of fun to watch as I don't show.

Fun times with people I like, great weather, time outdoors....makes me happy.   Oh yes, and the Warriors won and the Giants took the series against the Dodgers.   Woohoo!

Have a good week.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Plan the Day

I sort of had the day planned, then realized I have an 11:00 massage appointment.   I usually schedule massages early afternoon so I have the morning free to take care of other things, ride my horse, run errands, all before I crash after my massage.   Also, I don't usually have them scheduled on Mondays.   Such a problem, I know.   Yet it throws a wrench in my morning.

Things to do:

Take care of chickens and dogs....goes without saying.
Take out the trash
Get cleaned up, shave my legs (shocking, but it IS Summer!)
Pay some bills online
Bemoan the fact that a gopher has dug a hole next to one of our Pony Plum trees.   Damnit!
Go out to the barn to feed my horses their supplements.   Feel bad that it's a nice morning and I don't have time to ride.
Write a short blog post.
Write a few things on Facebook.
Feel satisfied that the ant traps took care of the problem in the bathroom.
Clean the bathroom floor of all the dead ant bodies.
Go to Trader Joe's and cross my fingers that I can find a parking space for my truck.   
Buy horse feed and chicken feed and wait until tomorrow to dump all 50-lb. bags into storage containers.   Because of the massage, you know.   Don't want to mess that up the same day.
Tell the dogs to stop barking....several times.
Remove the stickers from Zoey for the 1000th time so far this Summer.
And so I best get moving.   

Sorry for no photos, but it wasn't on the list.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Brief Fly By

We had baby birds around this past month.   But just as happened with May, they are gone.   Some were lost to tragic circumstances, others walked away with their mama in search of a better life.   The cutest by far were these.

Other than the birds, I haven't been out with my camera.   The weather in May was ideal for riding so I took advantage of it.   With our first heat wave upon us, I need to find those indoor activities that usually....or always....elude me.   Short drives to the coast will probably be in order to breathe that fresh air.   If I find anything interesting, I'll be sure to share it with you.   Until then, I hope all is well in your world and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

(No photo credit given....stolen from FB)