Thursday, May 31, 2012

T-shirts and Such

I wear T-shirts all the time.   I mostly wear black because I get dusty and dirty taking care of the animals.   Black is better than white for dirty work.   When you are a Tee type of gal, it is important to find your favorite "go to" Tee.   For some time, I chose the Favorite T from Gap.   I had many many of those until I realized they had changed their fabric and styles.   NEVER should they do that, unless they have checked with me and allowed me the opportunity to buy a lifetime supply.

After moving to this area, we don't have as many stores unless we drive to San Luis Obispo.   And so, I went to Target and found a great T-shirt to satisfy my needs.   It was their Cherokee brand.   It was a nice thick and comfortable cotton, and so I stocked up.   I am wearing one today that I have had for more than a few years.   I hate to throw it away because, naturally, they are no longer found at Target.   Again, CHECK WITH ME before discontinuing an item.  

This is my new T-shirt.   I buy these at Kohl's and have found them for the past two years.   You can be sure I have a few of them.   And I am going to purchase more, put them away in a drawer, and hope to never again be in the situation of losing my "go to" shirts.

I have had other experiences with items such as boots, panties, and jeans.   Life can be so difficult sometimes, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just a Short List

I don't usually spend time on my blog discussing things that I find annoying.   So I think you can indulge me, just this once.   It's a short list.

1.   When you enter or leave a store, get in your car/truck and GO!   Don't stand around in the parking lot having a chat session with your friends.   Don't let your children wander around the parking lot.   Just get in and leave.   You are creating chaos in the parking lot for others.

2.   On the subject of stores, you do not have the right to steal a shopping cart and take it home for your personal use.   Really, it's theft.   I don't understand why people think it's there for the taking.

3.   Learn how to pronounce words that you are going to use often, especially if you are the president (Bush).  NUCLEAR is not NUCULAR.   Others in the media, please take note of this.   

4.   Okay, I might upset some bloggers with this one.   I am going to toss it out there anyway.   I would like to see more attention paid to the difference between "its and it's" when being used several times in a post or Email.   My grandma was a teacher.   I notice these things along with spelling errors.   I am by no means perfect but we should all try a little harder when we are putting our writing out there for everyone to read.

5.   The last one of the day because I want to move on to more positive things.   This is for wait staff, store employees and others in service related jobs.   If someone says "Thank you" when you've done something for them, please say "You're Welcome" or "My Pleasure" rather than "No Problem."   No Problem????   When did that become a polite response?    It's not.   End of subject.

Okay, that's it.   My one and only list of annoyances.   

Next post will have nothing to do with snakes or pet peeves.

And please feel free to let me know if this post contains spelling and/or grammatical errors:-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Farm Life No Photos

This morning I was going about a few Monday morning chores, even though this is Tuesday.   Rather than posting a pretty or interesting photo, I will tell you about the past week.   

About a week ago, we were invaded by Earwigs, aka pincher bugs.   Do you have those where you live? We have them in abundance and they are a favorite snack of the chickens.   Every time we move a rock or planter or storage bin, the chickens swarm and eat the thousands of pincher bugs found underneath.   Last year we discovered they were nesting in the bark of our Eucalyptus tree.   Peel back the bark and you can find millions of them.   They are also in the bark of the redwood tree.   They don't kill the trees and provide a feast for any birds that like to dig for their dinner.   

About 5-6 years ago, I noticed that in the evening there were gazillions of pincher bugs crawling up the side of the house.   They were looking for a way in, which they can find in any little crack.   That was when I brought home my first chickens.  They made short order of the bugs.   The present day flock of hens does not have access to the perimeter on two sides of the house.   Therein lies a big problem.   

The pincher bugs began their invasion into the house.   Little cracks, electrical outlets, plumbing....they found a way inside and it was mayhem beginning about 9PM.   We don't have a regular pest control service because I have some concerns with chemicals being sprayed in the house and outside.   So I went to the farm supply store and bought some diatomaceous earth for earwig control.   I dusted the doorways. And it has done a pretty good job of killing the invasive pincher bugs.   They are still not 100% under control, but it's manageable.

On Thursday, about noon, I looked outside the kitchen window and saw a snake!!!    I have a very intense fear of snakes, and this one was a rattlesnake.   Although young and not yet having rattles, it was about 3 feet long and right in front of the steps.   The chickens were standing around watching it.   Erik was gone to the Bay Area and wouldn't be home until evening.   OMG, WTH should I do????    It appeared pretty sluggish and not moving so I carefully went outside (always with boots), walked around it, and tried to consider my options.   I had no idea where the hoe or shovel were and I wanted to do something quickly to contain it.   So....not the brightest idea....I got a large heavy rubber tub and tried to cover the snake.    Yep, you guessed it.   It escaped and slithered (ewwwww, I hate that image) into a very large evergreen bush.   The EXACT bush where two of my hens lay their daily eggs that I retrieve.   I had noticed over the previous few days that an egg in the adjacent bush was broken every day.   I guess we know who was responsible for that.

So I texted Erik....."Snake in the front yard, went into the bush.   Rattlesnake"    That would give him at least four hours to plan his attack upon arrival.   I went on with the day, carrying the shovel with me that I since found nearby.   I retrieved the egg in the adjacent bush, very very carefully.   Later on, I looked into the bush where the hen lays her egg.   I saw the egg and the snake, just about to take the egg.   Freaked me out all over again.   I took the shovel and scooted the egg out of the bush so as not to let the snake have a reward.    Keep in mind, I hate snakes.   I don't know where I gathered the nerve, but when I fear my animals are threatened I go into protection mode.

Erik came home and immediately started hacking down the bush.   The next morning we both went out, heavily armed with a big lopping tool and my trusty shovel.   After about a half hour of cutting back the beast of a bush, he found the snake.   He snagged it with the lopping tool and we then pinned it down with the shovel.   That snake was probably dinner for the neighborhood turkey vultures.   And the next day the remains of the bush were cut down.   It's all in the landfill and will no longer house snakes in front of our house.   

Then on Saturday, one of the donkeys accidentally stepped back and onto a chicken's leg.   She can't walk and is living in a small coop within the larger coop.   I am not sure she will be able to walk on that leg and it makes me sad for her.   I hope she heals in time and is back out with her sissies.

The same morning, driving back from town, there were two dogs walking down the middle of the road.   They weren't moving to the side so I pulled over to offer assistance.   With cars starting to approach from both directions, I motioned for them to stop.   The dogs would not come to the side of the road, just kept walking down the center.   They were obviously tired.   Before long, we had 5 vehicles stopped when a woman drove up in her car, got out and put the dogs in her car.   Erik heard her say, "They're mine."   She lives not too far from our place so I know the dogs had walked a mile or two.   I was so relieved they were okay.   

And now this morning I am scrubbing the kitchen sink, cleaning out the refrigerator, and hoping that we have less to deal with this week.    I wish you all a nice week with no drama.   And aren't you glad I didn't post photos today?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Country Boys

When the grasses dry up and the grazing is poor.....just put on some music and PLAY!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Color Palette

I commented to Daryl recently about nature showing us such beautiful color combinations.   This reminds me of color swatches laid across each other to make color and texture choices.   I would say the blue sky is the accent color and there is also a little touch of green.   

I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blue Sky and Hay

And an oak tree.

All Things Lavender

I have known this place was nearby, only about 5 miles from our place.   And yet, I have never been there.   *slaps myself on the forehead*

I hope Erik feels like doing a little more planting because I really think we should have some lavender, especially since it is known to be deer resistant.   That means it's not their favorite plant, although they will eat most things on any given day.   Lavender just tends to be relatively safe from their munching.

Look at this lovely farm!

Atascadero Photos
This photo of Atascadero is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stop The Truck

We all have our usual roads we drive.   That is, except for those who don't drive.   Still, the point is we have routine routes and often pass along those routes without taking notice.   Many of the roads I drive are  outside of town, usually two lane, often winding, and lacking a place to pull over safely.   I've done it.   I have shown you photos that I've taken during a quick stop on the side of the road, hoping nobody drives by until I'm finished.   That's what I did today, although this road has much better visibility and some places to pull over next to a vineyard fence.  A particular spot can look so very different with the changing seasons.   It may not be photo worthy one week, then the next week you see it and think, "Wow, I need to take a photo!"  

 I didn't have my Nikon with me today because I was driving to meet the farrier at my friend's house.   HOWEVER, I keep my smaller Canon in my purse and hope the battery is charged when I need it.  The hard part of using such a small camera is I really can't see the composition of my photo very well in the bright sunlight.   And standing on the road very long is not a good idea, so I just do the best I can.   The colors were so pretty with the blue sky beyond the vineyard.   I must stop again and hopefully take more time, certainly before the vista changes as we move into the heat of Summer.  

Song for the Day

I'm trying to keep this in my head because it's going to be in the 90's again today with wind gust advisories.   It's Summer!!    Sing it, Rascals.

List of Chores

How do you organize your chores?   Or maybe you don't?   Either way, you gotta love Maxine.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Donkey Drawing

A friend shared this with me today and I am sharing it with you because it's a subject near and dear to my heart.   Also, I cannot draw.   I love watching those who can, especially when they're drawing such cute subjects as mini donkeys.

I hope you have a very nice Saturday.   The weather here is great and I hope to spend a lot of time outdoors.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Show Photos

I took some photos of Beau and his trainer at the horse show last week.    I try to take good shots at the shows but sometimes they aren't well set up for owner photography.   The professionals get a nice vantage point.   We sat on one side of the arena with an awning in front and posts holding it up.   It works well for the lineup but my action shots, which I strive to improve, are not what I had hoped.   If you want to really challenge yourself, go to a horse show and take lots of photos.   I attended a jumping show once just for that purpose.   It's fun.   Well, if you like that sort of thing:-)   Have a very good Friday and weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Our Casa

I rarely go up to the back of our property.   I don't need to except when someone crashes through our fence and I have to take photos for insurance.   This was about a month ago when the grass was still green.   It's brown now.   Getting browner every day.   *sigh*    So much brown.

I used to keep about a dozen horses on the property and had anywhere from 1-3 foals each year for six years.   That's the reason for all the fencing, the corrals and mare motel.   It's a lot for two small donkeys, two dogs and 17 chickens.   Yes, I have the horses, but they don't stay here.   That leaves more room for everyone else....the deer, the skunks, the neighbors' cats, thousands of ground squirrels, and others.   

This house and property was a MAJOR fixer upper when we bought it ten years ago.   I am not going to share the "before" photos because I have put those images out of my mind.   This is home today:-)  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Trees and Vines

This is what a lot of our land looks like here on the Central Coast.   Hills, open spaces, scattered oak trees, and vineyards.   It isn't the same beauty as the lush forests and mountains you see in other parts of the country, but it has a simplicity that I think is very peaceful and striking.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Soft and Gentle

This day is set aside for all the lovely ladies who care for others, children or pets, in their world.   I hope you feel special on this day and all others.    

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Out of Town

I am heading to the Bay Area to attend a horse show.   Beau is going to be showing and I hope someone special will take notice and offer him an exceptional new home.   Of course I will have my iPad with me so I'm not too far away.   It's been about 95 degrees here the past few days so I'm looking forward to slightly cooler temperatures.    And I am also looking forward to photo ops!

Screen shot taken from a recent video, Beau with a fabulous rider in the meadow near Gilroy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I took this photo last year in Santa Cruz, at the memorial for Alex.   I want to go back to that beautiful garden this year and take new photos.   Gone one year, RIP Alexander.   May was always a busy month of celebrations for us with  John's birthday, Lynley's birthday, and Mother's Day.   Now it is more a time of remembrance, days gone by with little snippets of school, birthday parties, artwork, and young voices.   We never know what life has ahead so make the most of THIS day.   Stop and smell the flowers.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oh Yes They Did!

Saturday morning I had checked my Gmail and had no issues.   An hour or so later, I couldn't get into my account.   It said they had detected unusual activity and essentially shut down my account, which included my blog.   I tried to log back in but there was no way.   The login directed me to a page that said the only way they could give me a verification code would be to provide my mobile phone number so they could either call me or text me.   There were no other options.   They have been asking me for a mobile number for some months and I always decline.   

I went to the Support page and sent a "not so pleasant" message to reinstate my account because I was not providing a phone number.   They have always had a backup Email for me so they could have contacted me that way, but they did not.   And they did not respond ALL DAY to my request to reinstate.   No messages via my other Email.   Was I angry?   Oh yeah, I was!   All my contacts are in Gmail as I have shifted from my EarthLink account over the past couple of years.   I felt as though I was being held hostage for my phone number and that is not okay with me.   In the end, my sweetie offered to let me use his mobile number as it's a business phone and everyone has it anyway.   I plugged in that number and immediately received a verification code for my account.   

Lesson learned.   I get it.   So I am going to gradually go back to my EarthLink for primary Email, back up my contacts, and wean myself away from this service.   I also have an Android phone which is due to be upgraded at the end of May.   You can be sure I will be getting an iPhone instead.   I simply do not appreciate how everything is so integrated to the point of not having a choice.   We should have a choice. It's true, Gmail is a free service and we don't have a voice.   True, they can do whatever they want.   I just choose not to participate.   

Does anyone know what this photo is?   Yes, I was calling names yesterday, definitely a lot worse than Harry's butt would suggest.    Lesson learned and moving forward in another direction.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Large and In Charge

All is well here but I've just had nothing to say, no desire to rush to my blog each day.   I take time to read your blogs, even if I don't always comment.   I'll be posting again soon when I have something....anything.   Have a great Friday and nice weekend:-)

Toby is large and he is definitely in charge.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Do you watch "The Voice" and love Juliet Simms as much as I do?   Seriously, I love this girl.   She is only 25 years old and has a killer voice and awesome talent.    I have been listening to her on You Tube over and over.   I really want her to win, but either way her future is golden.

What Have They Done?

Blogger made some changes this week.   I didn't dig in enough to understand them because most, I'm sure, don't apply to my needs...