Friday, June 28, 2013

Random 5 Friday

These photos were taken a few months ago.   I think the coast may be the only place to escape this heat wave.

1.    In California, our primetime television is from 8 to 11 rather than 7 to 10.   I rarely stay up until 11 because this time of year I wake up around 5 or 5:30.   This week I got involved with 2 movies that weren't ended until 11 and so I missed the last 30-45 minutes.   Now I have to find them somewhere so I can finish them.   One of them involved hobo camps in the 1930's.

2.    I did all I could to solve the problem of the heat wave for my chickens.   With the tarps and shade cloths, the chicken yard looks like a hobo camp.   I should have taken photos.   I wouldn't be surprised to see them huddled about cooking up some hobo stew with worms and bugs and such.

3.    I grew up in a small town in Iowa.   It's very near a town named Britt that hosts the National Hobo Convention.   I've never attended but I remember talk about hobos when I was growing up.   You don't hear about them anymore.   

4.    Moving away from the hobo theme....I baked some cod with bread crumbs last night.   It was very boring and definitely needed something else for flavor.   I will have to search for cod recipes, although the oven is not going to be turned on again for a long long time because it's too hot.

5.     I had a travel trailer about 10 years ago.   I took it to horse shows, which I attended more frequently, and stayed there rather than a hotel.   I loved that trailer.   I could live in a nice travel trailer for a summer, hook it up near the coast and cook outside on a small grill.   Doesn't that sound delightful?   

Sharing with Nancy

Thursday, June 27, 2013

For The Birds

Our heat wave is here and so I am spending a great deal of my day worrying about my chickens.   Chickens don't handle heat well at all and it can easily kill them.   Our coop doesn't have trees around it and it is a hot box by late afternoon.   I have a fan in the window but it's not helping much.  I bought watermelon and red grapes for them.   I am freezing little water bottles to put in their waterers and help keep their drinking water cooler.   For sleeping shelter,  I have to figure something out this morning  to give the hens more relief because our temps are going to range from 105 to 115 over the next week.   I trickle a hose during the day, under the redwood tree, so it provides a cooler spot for them to sit and pant.   They have plenty of places to crawl under a tree in the dirt for cooling.   But the air is barely breathable.   I can't bring 16 chickens into the house so that's not an option.   I have a shade cloth to put over the coop or surrounding area, but I'm really not sure that's going to make enough of a difference.   I have to get my sh*t together this morning and figure this out.   Sometimes a chicken mama just wants to fly away.....but can't.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dad

Our dad would have been 83 years old today.   He was a very fun-loving and generous man, always wanting to include others in our family holidays if they had nowhere to go.   Holidays and family gatherings were probably his favorite part of life.   He could grill the most delicious pork chop ever, and I loved Thanksgiving in Arizona when he put the turkey on the rotisserie outside on the grill.   I can easily picture him sitting in his chair in their Arizona Room (screened in patio), watching over the food, and waiting to announce that it was ready.   And he was ALWAYS the last one sitting at the table.

He loved his grandchildren beyond measure and made sure they all felt very very special when they were with him.    My dad had 2 stepdaughters and they loved him dearly.   He treated them as though he'd raised them from their first day, and I know both of them feel very much as though he was their dad.   

Here are the four children he helped bring to this world.   Although the eldest left long before Dad, they have been reunited.   And the three of us miss our dad all the time.    Happy Birthday, Dad.   

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunday in June

We drove down to Pismo Beach yesterday to see some friends who were camping down there and riding quads on the dunes.   We stayed a couple hours until the noise of all the quads and sand rails and other dune crawlers was ringing in our ears.   Then we stopped and had a tasty meal (I had scallop brochette), and went on home to do a few things there before taking an afternoon nap.

By late afternoon, I could tell we could expect a very pretty evening sky and sunset.   I spent over an hour outside with the dogs and donkeys and my camera.   I was not disappointed.   I have so many photos to go through, but at first glance I think these were worth showing.   I love how the sky so quickly changes from yellows to reds as the sun sinks.   

It's a new week and I hope you all have a good one.   Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Random 5 Friday

It's Friday and that means sharing at Nancy's place.

1.    I am picking and eating and sharing our delicious little peaches.   They're very small so it takes about 3 to equal 1 normal peach.   They are very good in yogurt and with Rice Chex.

2.    The first career I remember considering was being a "beautician" after we had a babysitter named Kay who would style our hair, one time doing mine in a beehive.   Remember the beehive in the 60's?    The style was not like today's beehive which is much softer.   It was heavy on "ratting" the hair and wrapping it and spraying it to last a long time.   This is an internet image.

3.    Our Central Coast towns are not big and definitely are not considered cities.   In the past 2 or 3 weeks, we've had 2 bank robberies and an armed robbery at 7-Eleven.   The first bank robber turned himself in, yesterday they arrested 2 suspects for the 7-Eleven robbery, and I haven't heard whether they've found anyone in the second bank robbery.   Absolutely crazy!   And probably drug related.   Two of the three robberies involved semi-automatic handguns.   Don't get me started....

4.    I think knitting would be a good hobby, but I also think it would make my hands sore.   It's one of the things I don't like about aging, not being as strong as I once was.   As an aside, I know how to use chopsticks.

5.    My brave and fierce and independent Clarabelle seems to have an injury that has kept her from being her spunky self.   She was always flying up and out of the yard when I would close them in.   I imagine she had a bad landing.   Poor little thing, she's always been a favorite of ours.   I hope it's nothing too serious.

Sharing with

Thursday, June 20, 2013

David Attenborough

I used to watch a series that would show on either NatGeo or Animal Planet, I don't recall which.   It is hosted by David Attenborough and is a fascinating look at some of the world's amazing animals.   I really miss having programs like this on TV.   I think of some of our treasures like David, and Jacques Cousteau, and journalists like Charles Kuralt.   They took us to places we hadn't seen, let us experience some of the amazing things our planet has to offer, and always did it with such class.

If you have never seen the wonderful shows that David Attenborough did about birds, do yourself a favor and find them on YouTube.   My favorites are the Bowerbirds and the Birds of Paradise.   They are fascinating creatures and worth your time to watch.

Interesting and educational programming....we need more of this back on our screens!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Every single time I pull up in my truck, I am greeted by my fans.   If your mind works like mine, you can imagine them saying, "Chicken Mama is home!   What did you bring us, Chicken Mama?"   Yes, my mind works like that and I must say, it's kind of fun.   

It's Wednesday, I hope you have a good one!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Here It Comes's on the way for real.   

Not much sitting outside when those temperatures hit.   I suppose the tomatoes will like it.   The rest of us, not so much.

I haven't done much photography lately except with my iPhone.   I could be staging some lovely still life shots in the house, but I don't seem to have that type of creativity.   A still life shot for me is when I'm outside and our usual wind isn't blowing.

Maybe a trip to the beach is in order.   Want to come along?   We can dip our toes in the cold water, being careful not to let the little fishies bite us.

Or sit and wait for a beautiful sunset on a hot summer night.   

How are you spending your Summer?   Are you relishing every moment or dreaming of Autumn?   So far, I've been doing a little of both....but Summer is about to get hotter.   For real.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

My dad left us in 2000.   He is loved and missed every day, but it sure would be nice to pick up the phone and call him on this day.    

Happy Father's Day, Dad.   I hope you're having fun, playing cards with all the relatives and grilling some fabulous pork chops.   


Friday, June 14, 2013

Random 5 Friday

This is probably my favorite day to blog because random thoughts are just so easy to put down on paper....or keyboard and monitor.   

1.    I am not a big fan of ice cream.   I like it, I just don't crave it or think about having it like some people do.   Homemade ice cream is really good and I could definitely eat a lot of that if I had it in the house.   Instead of ice cream, I like to keep Talenti gelato in the freezer in case I want a tasty cold treat. This is a new flavor of theirs I've discovered and I give it a two spoons up.

2.    I bought a new riding helmet this week because my other helmet didn't seem to fit as well as I'd like.   It also lost a piece that keeps the band in place.   This new one is a lower profile with great adjustment features and I'm really liking the comfort of the fit.   Yes, that's Beau....such a great horse!

3.   I finally bought a new desk chair yesterday.   After getting rid of my very old chair, I've been using one of our dining chairs.   The problem has been that it's all wrong for sitting at a desk using a computer.   And it's been contributing to my shoulder issues.   So I have a new chair!   I bought it at Staples and it was marked way way down because it's a clearance model.   Yay!!    My massage therapist will be happy because it will help my shoulder.

4.   As much as I would like a couple of new lenses for my Nikon D7000, I keep reading about the mirrorless technology and thinking at some point that will be my camera.   It's way too soon to think about buying one because I really like my camera, and I know the features on the technology will continue to improve.    Maybe one day....

5.   I got a bug up my backside last evening about 5:30 and started washing some walls and doors in the room where the dogs spend their time.   Crazy how much dirt ends up in the house from a couple of busy ranch dogs.   My favorite cleaner?   Simple Green.   I love this product and use it for cleaning so many things.   And it smells good.   No, they haven't compensated me for saying this but I wouldn't mind gallons of the stuff to keep me supplied for years.   

And that's it!   I hope you all had a good week and enjoy your weekend.   

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday Muse

I remember as a child, sitting in the grass in our back yard, looking up at the sky and finding pictures in the clouds.   Iowa has some pretty dramatic clouds and there was a lot to see with the imagination.   We have very pretty clouds in this part of California.   I have probably shared enough of them to convince you of that.   A picture really is worth a thousand words, isn't it?

I went out just before 6:00 this morning to feed the donkeys.   I had already let the dogs out to run around on the property.   The clouds that were forming in the early morning sky were enough to make me skip my first sip of coffee *gasp* and get my camera.   

I saw this.   Can you see it?   Is it a dove or Phoenix rising?   I don't know, but it was something worth capturing.

Sharing today with Nancy's Tuesday Muse.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Rolling Along

BlogLovin' has told me that I need to do a post to "claim my blog" with them.   So that's what this post is about.   Once I get this set up, you can follow me over there in case Google Friend Connect goes away and you don't want to lose track of me.   Thanks!

Time to get on with the evening events, take our dirt baths, eat dinner, and call it a night.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Random 5 Friday

1.    I won this t-shirt on my sister's blog give-away.   It's really soft and I like it a lot.

2.    I think we might have a big crop of pomegranates this year.   We do absolutely nothing to this tree and it flourishes.   Go figure.

3.    We purchased the Buddha I showed you a couple weeks ago.   He's sitting next to the tomato plants which should be a very good thing.   There is such a peaceful feeling with Buddhas and I love having them in my yard and home.

4.    Last Christmas, Erik's daughter gave him The Executioner because he was leaving the back door open (no screen) and getting flies in his office area.   I have been practicing with it and getting much better.   You can swat and kill them in mid-air so you don't have to wait for landing.  

5.    I really like Fage yogurt and I've had it the past 4 mornings with fresh blueberries.   Now I have no more in the refrigerator and I don't know what to do about breakfast this morning.   

Linking to

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Disruption in Routine

We have a fox in the area.   I saw it last Saturday morning in the neighbor's field.   I had let the chickens out about a half hour earlier and was sitting in the living room having morning coffee.   I happened to look out in that direction and saw it.   So I went out, yelling and clapping, and chased it back toward the gully behind the neighbor's property.   And then I ran into the house for some red grapes to lure all the chickens back into their yard.   Success.   The chickens had to stay in their yard all day which was very stressful for them because it hit 102 degrees that day.   They like to hunker down under the redwood or lilac, lay their eggs in the horse trailer, and any change in routine creates stress.   

See this ravine/gully?   

Fox territory!!!   (Fun things you can do with Internet images and PicMonkey)  

See who else lives down there?   (More fun things you can do with PicMonkey)

Sunday evening the dogs were barking (nothing new there) and I went out to see what was capturing their attention.   It was the fox.   Fortunately the chickens were already in bed for the night, tucked away safely where they can't be killed.   But are they going to have to spend their lives in their yard?   Certainly a fox can jump their fence so they aren't really safe in there.   It just keeps them from wandering around and catching the fox's eye.   Or maybe that's a silly way to look at it.   Would they be safer out and about?   

We routinely let the dogs out of their yard to run on the property in the morning and again in the evening.   During the rest of the day, we usually let the donkeys out of their area to roam the property and eat weeds or sleep under the eucalyptus tree.  With the fox wandering around, probably seeking food for babies, we now leave the dog's gate open so they can run out back to chase away intruders.   

The dogs can't get to the front of the property,  which happens to be where the chickens live.   So we are still vulnerable.   It's not fun, changing the routine.   Animals like routine and so do I.   This is what the chickens should be doing.   

Enjoy your Thursday.   We are still on high alert.   The pellet gun is close at hand, not that I could hit anything....but it makes a noise, right?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

These really are faces only their mother could love.   I am pretty sure they have to be number one when it comes to the ugliest bird in the kingdom.   But they have an important job and you can always count on them.   They show up, sometimes in droves, to clean up the land of dead rotting creatures.   Who else is going to do it?   The only complaint they might have is there may not be enough dead ground squirrels on any given day to feed the whole group.   They might complain that hawks are invading their air space.   Other than that, I think they have a good life.   And I'd say pretty is as pretty does when it comes to turkey vultures.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Favorite

Every time I look through my photos, I come back to this one.   This was taken about six years ago and it's definitely one of my favorites.   Every evening I would give my mares a little grain in a bucket.   My chickens (not the same hens I have now) would hang around waiting for a little nibble.   One of my mares was not about sharing at all, but Fancy didn't seem to mind.   

Fancy and the Chicken....yes, it makes me smile.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


They used that song in a ketchup commercial, didn't they?   Not what I had in mind but I thought of it as soon as I typed the word.

Okay, here's a good thing about Summer..... I can't wait to try one.

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...