Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Muse

Do you accept imperfections of your life, or do you pick at them and complain about them?   I look back at photos of myself when I was younger, thinking how lovely I was, and yet knowing at the time I was more focused on things I would change than I was on what I loved.   We are funny beings, we humans.   We aren't supposed to be perfect.   We shouldn't try to focus too much on what we'd like to be different about our appearance.   We are like flowers in a big garden.   Each petal is a little different and that makes the garden beautiful.   And some of the petals have a little brown on the edges.   I find those the most interesting of all.

Sharing with Nancy

Monday, April 29, 2013

90s Inland, 60s Coast

I drove to Morro Bay twice over the past few days.   When it gets hot here, it's usually cool at the coast.   The fog generally burns off mid to late morning so you can choose your time of day for sunshine or fog.   We went yesterday morning to walk around for a while, then have a late breakfast/lunch at a nice restaurant named Dorn's.   We missed the Kite Festival because it was still setting up, but the parking lot was getting pretty full and we don't like big crowds.   On any normal day, Morro Bay is not crowded so it's a delightful spot for locals like us to enjoy a little salt air and cooler temps.

The Rock, shrouded in fog.

One of the peregrine falcons on the ledge of a hole.   There are two nesting pairs high up on The Rock, one on the north side and one on the south.   Can you see her?

These two paddlers struggled the entire time we were there.   They ended up too far left in the channel and fighting against the current as the tide came in.   Poor girl, I don't know if she ever made it out of her dilemma.

Setting up for the Kite Festival

I love succulents.   Each table on the patio at Dorn's has a different one in a planter.

I hope you enjoyed some relaxing time over the weekend.   And now it's Monday!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Roses

Just hanging out at home this weekend with my honey.  It's going to be in the low 90's and everything is freshly watered.    

I might need a couple more rose bushes to put in pots until we want to plant again.    I'm thinking a peach color and possibly white.    Any ideas?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Random 5

Okay, here we go.....another Friday with Nancy!

I don't know the year of this photo, but I was probably in junior high.

1.     I have almost all solid colors in my closet.   I used to wear prints when I had a career and would dress up 5 days a week.   Now that I live on our little ranch property with animals, everything is a solid color.   I'm not really sure why.   A lot of fabric prints just don't appeal to my eye.   Maybe the designers aren't doing a good job?

2.     I am fascinated by genetics.   My two passions at this time in my life are photography and horses.   My grandfather was a horse trainer and my grandmother never went anywhere without her Brownie camera.   Do my interests come from them?   I think it's possible.

3.     When I was in high school, I had very long hair and very long legs.   As a freshman, I was called "Legs" by a rather cocky senior named Tom.   Maybe he thought I liked the attention, but it drew attention to me that I could have done without because I had a rather shy personality.

4.      I can groom and ride my horse, getting my hands dirty, then casually wiping them off before I eat an apple.   It doesn't bother me in the least.   I would never do that after shaking hands with a person or in a restaurant.   I haven't had the flu or any serious illness in many years.   Being a bit of a germ-a-phobe has its advantages.

5.      My grandma's house was filled with family treasures.   When a tornado blew through her town, she lost everything except a high chair that was my mom's.   I have that high chair and will give it to my sister's daughter.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I found this set of photos in my files and it made me smile.   Sometimes I come upon a cute little scene at the coast and I am not prepared to capture a good photo of the action.   But I like the photos anyway and that's all that really matters.   I guess I relate to this little guy on this Wednesday morning because it's my massage day.   I had good lessons on Beau the past two days and would love to ride again this morning.   But this previous massage appointment is worth keeping because my body won't be happy if I don't go.   If you've never had a really good massage, I hope you have a chance to do that sometime.   The benefits are huge.   I go twice a month and it is important to my wellbeing.   I know it helps keep the doctor away. 

Take a little time for yourself today.   Or what the heck, take a lot of time for yourself today!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Finding My New Tuesday Muse

You may have noticed a bit of longing in my words yesterday, already missing the green hills that were so fleeting this year.   I haven't picked up my camera in several days.  *gasp*   With the Tuesday Muse meme, I went through my photo files and wondered about my new muse.   

Sitting on the ledge (actually a chair), pondering....

And realizing my muse might need to change from green to blue.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Seasons Change

Our beautiful Spring with green grasses, wildflowers and blossoming trees seems to have passed.   With the serious lack of rainfall this season, the hillsides have already turned brown and crispy.  It looks like Summer and it's only April.   

Have you seen this documentary?    http://www.chasingice.com   It has beautiful photography and a strong message about climate change.    People who scoff at the idea should take their heads out of the sand.

As we head into our next season, I can always find some beauty and relief at the coast.   Why don't you all stop by and we'll build a bonfire.   We can take photos and share stories.   And make s'mores or whatever we like.   We can't camp on the beach, but camping is highly overrated at my age anyway.   

Seasons are changing and so is our routine.   My sweetie works for a large corporation with offices in the Bay Area, near San Francisco.   He has had some ability to work remotely, but they are now all hands on deck.   That means he will be away more.   The dogs and I will miss him.   I'm not sure about the chickens, but I don't think their little brains can reach that far.   

Change is supposed to be a good thing.   Right?

Have a great Monday.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Random 5 Friday

I always enjoy this meme from Nancy so I am going to try a quick post to join in.   

1.    I don't mind having a messy bedroom.   When we were kids, our mom was always telling us to clean our room.   It didn't bother me then either.   I prefer the rest of the house to be relatively picked up.

2.    I really like math and the way numbers make sense in so many different ways.

3.    I don't understand why toilet tissue is so expensive.

4.    I am a napper.   I go through phases where I seem to need an afternoon nap quite often, then for a while not at all.   

5.    I love real life police and prison shows.   I can watch them over and over again.   As an aside, I worked at a prison when I was much much younger.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rural Thursday

I wish I had a real barn.   People in this area don't build real barns anymore.   Because of our relatively mild climate, we have mare motels, pole barns, and mostly pre-fab barns from companies like Castlebrook or MD.   And they are great because they are very low maintenance and flexible in terms of the design.   They just don't have the character of the old wood frame barns.   

My friend lives on a property that has been in her husband's family since he was a young boy.   One of the parcels has a very old barn which she still uses.   She had a contractor shore up the structure about five years ago because it was in danger of collapse.   She uses the barn for hay, a tack room, and other storage.   The horses live in the newer barn to the right in the photo.   My mare, Fancy, lives here with her BFF, Goldie.   They were two of my broodmares and Fancy was my riding horse.   The mares are now retired and live a pretty good life, although Fancy would tell you that she really needs a "man" around so she has someone to flirt with.

My friend is quite clever with her newfound building skills and made this cute little birdhouse to match her barnyard.   I really need to learn how to use the saw and add some touches to my place.   

I am adding this post to the Rurality Blog Hop today.    Enjoy your Thursday!

Rurality Blog Hop #11

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Farm Sounds

I am easily amused by very simple things.   Focusing my camera on Toby and trying to capture him crowing is challenging and fun.   Chickens have very sudden movements....they are almost always moving their heads around.   But the other day, I had a little luck with capturing him calling out to his girls and anyone else in the world who would listen.

Just a bit of light-hearted sharing today....Toby the Roo.

Are you ready?

Get started

 Head back and let 'er rip

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

She's Playing With Photos Again!

Searching my archives for something quiet and lovely today, I came across this photo that I took at Mission San Miguel.   Our missions are so special, such treasures from long ago.   It was certainly a simpler time.   Not easy, but simpler.

I took this photo into PicMonkey and added a scripted texture to it, just for something a little different...which is what I like to do on Tuesday Muse day.

I am sharing today with Nancy's Tuesday Muse

Monday, April 15, 2013


Our peach tree is full.   After all those glorious blossoms that delighted me and my camera lens, we now have little peaches growing.   I am pretty excited about all this fruit, although I had better start planning soon if I'm going to find a use for it because it's way more than we can eat.   And I don't do any canning because I have a ceramic cooktop and I understand it's not advised.   Saves me all that work anyway.   And a girl can only eat so much cobbler, right?   

Look how cute and fuzzy they are.   Fresh peaches off my very own tree.   *squeal*

Friday, April 12, 2013

Inspired By You

Do you find inspiration from other bloggers whose blogs you visit regularly?   I know that I do.   Of course, I don't always follow through on my inspiration.   I suppose if I did, I wouldn't have time for the other things I love.   

I came across this photo in my archives from a year or two ago.   It's a beautiful Julia Child rose that I have been hoping will start to flourish a little more in my front yard.   Connie at Hartwood Roses is nothing short of amazing with her love and nurturing of roses, and I could learn so much from her if I would take the time and perhaps plant a few more beauties like this.

Bev at Bee Haven Acres is busy all the time.   I admire her vegetable gardens that she takes such great care with.   She harvests all the food and feeds her family year round with the fruits of her labor.   I have two tomato plants.   *sigh*   Each year I want to grow more "crops" here but never seem to put in the time.   

Karen at This Old House2  seems to be a great cook and is always trying new recipes for her family.   You might think the photos would inspire me to cook more, but I don't.   Maybe when I have a new kitchen?   Well, it could happen.

Others inspire me with their beautiful and creative photography.   I always want to continue to learn and develop my skills in that area.   I sat in on a Q&A/tutorial with Trey Ratcliffe and associates this week.   I didn't send in any questions, but I always learn something from him and he is a very generous teacher with people of all levels.   

I thank you, those of you who left comments about my kitchen remodel.   I am not a Pinterest fan at all, but maybe I will find some inspiration there.   And I will certainly post photos when our remodel gets going.   The ball's in my court to provide measurements and photos to the designer.   

For now, the dogs are awake, the donkeys are braying, and I am inspired to get another cup of coffee and get on with my day.   Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

I am also sharing this little video with you that I made yesterday.   The mockingbird sat in our trees for hours yesterday afternoon, singing his songs for me.   It was just delightful.   It's only a minute so if you can, listen to his songs.   They are just a joy to have on the property.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Think It's That Time Again

I've mentioned before that when we bought this house in 2002, it was a MAJOR fixer upper.   It was the time of a California housing frenzy and often people had what seemed like minutes to make a decision about buying a house.   My late husband and I were moving to this area from Santa Cruz and had been house hunting for only a short while, but had already missed one place by a matter of a few hours.   And so when we found this one, with a nice piece of land and minutes from town, the best school district in our area, we jumped.   He had all the contractor skills to do everything that needed to be done.   And we did a lot until he passed away in 2006.   But there is always more and more, as you know, with a house that the original owner didn't have built so well in the first place.   

In the past 3 or 4 years, we have replaced the heating/air conditioning unit and all the ducting.   We have had all the plumbing in the house replaced.   We replaced the leach (leech?) line for the septic.  We had the old "popcorn" ceilings removed and new ceilings finished.   We had all the bedrooms, baths and hallway repainted.  We have torn out old flooring, put in new flooring where it was still needed, remodeled the master bath, built a new laundry room, and the biggest job of all was remodeling the front of the house and repainting.    You'd think that would be enough.

As much as I really dislike the idea of having the house under construction again, it's time to remodel the kitchen.   It's such a difficult room for me to consider because the choices seem endless.   But I really must because it just has to be done.   What type of cabinets, what color, what type of countertop, what design, and all that has to be done within whatever budget we decide is workable.   The first step, however, is for me to measure the area, take some photos, and go to a design center for the layout.   So that's on my list of things to do.   

Dreaming of a new kitchen....after the mess is over.   It's time.

And did I mention the pipe fencing all needs painting, the road needs to be redone, and Erik's office needs new flooring and paint?    *sigh*

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not Sure, So Tommy Wins

I started to think about a post at 6AM.   I selected photos, then never put it into words.   A short while ago I thought about another post.   Selected a photo, then never put it into words.   I guess I just didn't feel like it.    Instead of anything long and wordy, I am going to post this fun photo of our very first Morgan foal born to our farm.   This was 10 years ago.   His barn name (different than registered name) was/is Tommy and he was delightful to raise.   He was always sticking his nose in everyone else's business, annoying the other mares, and wanting to play with the other foals all the time.   He now lives about 2 miles from here and is loved like crazy by his girl.    How could you help falling in love with a new foal?   They are incredible.

Sharing with Shirley's new Horse Wednesday   

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Windy Windy Windy

The wind blew here all day yesterday, starting the night before.   For me, wind is extremely exhausting.   Even when I'm not outside, I can hear it gusting and it wears on me.   It is one of nature's forces that we just can't do anything about.   I knew the surf would be up and decided to take an early afternoon drive to the coast.   Sheesh!   There was not a single person walking on the beach when I arrived and only one when I left.   I could barely get the door open against the wind and realized why everyone was just sitting in their vehicle.   When I got out, I was surprised at how much mist blasted me, even standing back so far from the water.   I immediately got so many spots on my filter, I didn't even try to clean these up too much because it would take hours.   The gulls were all grounded and only took off when I approached them.   I couldn't hold my camera steady enough for many photos so I went over to the south side of the Rock.   It was a bit more sheltered there and a few more people were out enjoying the day in their own ways.   I took a few photos of kite surfers and noticed a few surfers out by the rocks, but it really wasn't a fun day.   As I was walking back, an older surfer kinda guy asked me if I was taking photos of the surfers.   I told him I didn't really have enough lens to capture them out so far.   He suggested I could walk out on the rocks.   I said, I don't really do that.   Nice way to destroy my life or the life of my camera, Dude.

The wind and I, we just don't mix well.   Fortunately, this morning is very still.   I can breathe a sigh of relief.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Day of Ease

After a week in meetings, on the computer, driving back and forth, lots of mental work, Erik often wakes up on Saturday ready to take on the work on this little ranch that he loves so much.   He told me he would take care of all the animals.   He fed everyone, released the chickens, turned the horses out for the day, cleaned stalls, and so much more.   And when he climbed aboard his John Deere lawn tractor, I left to get my hair done.   Then a quick stop at the tack store and home, to find he was gone buying groceries.   What a guy!   It's not that my chores are 24/7 hard core work, but having him take over for a day is really a treat.   Thanks, Honey!

Wishing you all an easy kind of Sunday.

P.S.    When I walk outside, the lilac fragrance fills the air.   Oh my goodness, everyone should have lilacs to enjoy in the Spring.   

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saving for Next Year

I've never had so many lupines on the property.   We don't have a massive field of blue, but we have a few patches and individual plants scattered about.   It thrills me.   And I want them to spread in the coming years, if possible.   The grass on the property needs another mowing, which is tentatively on the schedule for today.   So yesterday I took many more photos of the lupines in case any of them don't survive the day.   And then we walked around last evening so I could let my handsome mowing guy know where to avoid, if possible.   Toby was very helpful with the photographs as he wandered through the grass looking for bugs for his ladies.   And for me.   He always offers his little treasures to me and I think that makes for a very nice rooster.

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...