Friday, February 15, 2019

Not My Usual

I'm not sure if I have ever blogged about apparel or accessories or those types of things.   I purchased a couple things this year that I am so very happy to have with the very rainy Winter weather we're having.   I often shop for equestrian products, either online or at tack stores.   For those of you who aren't involved in the equestrian world, you would probably not consider that.   Let me tell you....they have some of the best gear for comfort and use, and I don't find it to be overly expensive for the quality.

I really really needed a new raincoat this year since those I have are actually water resistant and quite lightweight.   Yep, if it rains hard, I end up drenched.   So this year I purchased this coat and I absolutely love it.


https://kerrits.com/collections/equestrian-jackets/products/element-barn-jacket?variant=14400351600698

I purchased it in an eggplant plaid which I don't see on this page, but all you would have to do is Google Kerrits and look for this jacket at other sites.   

The other item I've long wanted is a pair of tall equestrian boots for "around the barn" rather than riding boots.   I already have tall riding boots but they aren't for walking around and keeping your feet warm.   This year I finally got the boots I wanted and again, I absolutely love them.   My feet were getting so cold when temperatures dropped beginning in December.   I tried on several pairs and came back to Ariat which always seems to fit me best.

https://www.ariat.com/P15251_W_FOO.html?dwvar_P15251__W__FOO_color=JAVA

Again, you can find them online at various places or check a local tack store if you have one.

I am really set for quite a while with these two additions.   I've spent very little time at the barn the past few weeks with the downpours we've had, and it's taking its toll on my fitness.   Fortunately with the procedure I had yesterday (all was well), I have no desire to eat things that are really bad for me.   There's something about cleaning out your system that makes you want to keep it clean, at least for me.   We'll see how long that lasts, but hopefully I can get back to regular riding soon and work on my fitness again.

I hope you had lots of love yesterday and every day, be it from a spouse/partner, children, friends, or pets.   Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wild Winds

Holy Cow, it's incredibly windy today.   They said the area may get up to 60mph gusts, although I'm sure that's at higher elevations and our area may be somewhat less.   I had to go out and lock the chickens in, bracing their door with a cinder block and heavy chair.   A few things have blown around outside, even though we're pretty well prepared due to previous high winds.   A tree at our neighbor's came down in front of his house a couple weeks ago.   Fortunately it didn't hit the house or his brand new roof, and now he has a very large pile of wood stacked up.

A couple of you asked about the hawks and our chickens.   Yes, our chickens free range, but they have several shelters such as where our donkeys used to live, under the horse trailer, under my truck, tucked under the redwood tree.   I don't think a hawk has ever harmed one of our chickens.   When we had so many hens, and they were young, they would wander all over our property and next door to our neighbors' fields.   The few we lost to predators were likely due to a coyote or fox, not a hawk.  

For a while, as you may remember, we had a rooster named Toby who would keep track of the hens and sound his alert when there was danger.   What I've always found so interesting about the chickens is they can tell the difference between a hawk or a vulture flying around the area.   It has to be an awareness that they're born with since the hawks have never gone after our flock.   It's fascinating that we have vultures flying all around but just one hawk will cause them to freeze or seek shelter.   

We mostly have Red Tail Hawks here, although I know there are also Red Shouldered Hawks...to be honest, I'm not sure I can always tell the difference.   The Coopers Hawks are here also but they are smaller and I suppose much less capable of carrying a chicken.   My thought is that other food is quite plentiful near our property and hawks aren't going to grab something big and heavy like a chicken, when ground squirrels and such are plentiful.   

We only have 4 hens left from our high of 16.   These girls are 8 years old and until this past week have been healthy.   One of our girls looks sick and isn't getting around very well, so I expect it won't be long before there are only 3.   I don't want any of them to be the last hen standing....but I don't want to think about that right now.

I'm hungry.   I look forward to being able to eat something good tomorrow.

Here's a pretty photo I took recently.   I love this one and have it as my desktop wallpaper.   Of course the blues aren't actually that color.   I took some liberties with my editing.   


Talk to you soon!


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Put It Behind Me

Okay, maybe that's a bad title.   Truth is, I have a colonoscopy on Thursday and I start the prep today with a laxative.   I already have a stomach ache.   It's the one screening that everyone dreads because of the prep involved, right?   It's pretty chilly outside today and is supposed to rain the next couple of days, so here I sit.   I'm trying to move the clock ahead in my mind and just not think too much about it.

Edit photos, read, nap, eat Gummies, repeat.   

Here's the photo part.

Red tail hawk eating a rodent out on our property.   It was a cold rainy day so he/she was probably drying its wings.   Raptors are just beautiful birds, in my opinion.


 I think this is a  young Coopers Hawk, hanging out on some fencing.   Again, a very pretty bird, and no threat to our chickens.


A squirrel in the park


A different day, a presumably different squirrel


I think I'm about ready for a midday nap, just to pass a little more time.   I appreciate your visit....have a great day!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Little Lake

There is a small lake in Atascadero that is a great place for a walk this time of year.   When it's dry, the lake looks like a mud flat.   When we're having rain, it draws several types of birds and ducks and people with cameras.   I've been told there are one or two eagle pairs living nearby and they can sometimes be seen in the tall trees, no doubt looking or a meal.   There are always/usually a couple photographers with 3 foot long lenses capturing the lake visitors in a very close-up way.   For me, because I like to walk around the lake, I like having my phone or new camera with me.  


I'm not a bonafide bird watcher by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy spotting new or pretty ones and trying to capture them with my lens.   While walking around the lake the other day, I noticed this one sleeping in a tree.   I'd never seen one like it and wasn't sure what it was.   As I came around the north side of the lake, I spotted him (or her, or his/her twin) standing down by the water.   After watching it for a while and grabbing photos, I still had no idea other than to think it looked like a heron.   I decided perhaps it was a juvenile GBH and I'd just never seen one before.   Maybe it was going to grow taller and change color as it aged?   





After looking at several photos online, I decided it must be a juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron.   This was a first for me as I'd never seen one around here or over at the coast where most of the shorebirds live.   See him peeking out from behind the duck?   He saw the other water fowl running onto shore looking for food from a lady and her children, so he just tagged right along.   Other than that he just stayed by himself.   

One little lake in the middle of town can have so much beauty and life as long as the rains come and provide.   This year is making everyone happy and not only providing for the water fowl but for people like me with a camera looking for inspiration.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Just Visiting

I checked in to my blog to make sure it's still here.   I walked away from it several months ago with nothing to say.   I still don't have much of anything to say except that we've had rainy and stormy weather.   Weather like this always lures me out and about with my camera because it's such a welcome change from the months of brown.   I'm able to capture some of the beauty of the Central Coast with inspiration all around.   And so this is one more place I can share my photos, which I shall.   Some of you are with me on social media and so you've seen these already.   Before I tuck them away in Dropbox, I'll also share them here.   So please indulge me.

Another reason for so many recent photos is that I bought a new "walk around" camera that I'm enjoying.   It's a Sony RX10 with a "super zoom" Zeiss lens.   So often I want to go from a wide shot to a close up shot, and I don't like changing lenses while I'm out walking around, especially in weather.   This offers me both and I like it quite a lot.   I traded in my Sony a6000 with lenses and it made this much more affordable.

The lake shots are from Atascadero Lake.   The ocean shots are from Morro Bay.   I may drive to Cambria today for some more shots of the coast after our storms.   It's really the best time.  










I hope you're all well and I want to thank you for stopping by.   

Friday, June 1, 2018

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 anyway.   But they used to send comments to Email and now they don't.   So what the heck!   If I want to respond to someone's comments, how does it work?   Anyone???

A few photos from the day trip my sister and I took to Monticello.   It's a beautiful place.




Happy June!   Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Writing Your Chapter

Life is a chapter book and we are now looking ahead to our next chapter, considering how we'd like it to start.   This chapter has been about life changes for both of us, meeting one another and establishing a life based on our values.   This property and our animals have been a priority for us and have brought us a lot of peace and happiness.   But we see this chapter ending as the animals grow older and so do we.   There are things we don't mind doing when we are a little younger, but they become more tedious as our bodies grow older.   The honest truth is, we don't want to take care of 5 acres once we retire.   One acre?   Sure, Erik likes to cut the grass and I'd like to grow more flowers.   But we are not interested in taking the life we have here and transplanting it somewhere new.   

When we were younger, we both had the opportunity to do some traveling.   Not a lot, but enough to know there is a whole world out there to explore.   We are discussing the possibility of spending time in other countries that are much more affordable than ours.   We are also talking about moving to some part of our country that is much less expensive.   Unfortunately most of those places don't have the best weather in summers and winters.   

I recently visited my sister in Virginia.   It's really a lovely state with mountains, woods and lots of green grass.   It's peaceful and clean and offers a nice lifestyle.   I really don't mind a little bit of Winter with moderate snowfall that doesn't stay long on the ground.   The issue for me is that I have asthma.   The Summer humidity is an awful thing to deal with and can cause difficulty with breathing.   I don't relish the idea of spending 3 months indoors, so therein lies the problem.   Do we move there and make a plan to spend a few months away from home?   A travel trailer escape to the mountains somewhere?   Or an inexpensive shack on the coast?   Those are expenses we don't want to carry so aren't really feasible.

We have talked for the past few years about leaving the country, at least for a while, and experiencing another culture.   Many many people have retired to Mexico and other places for a more affordable lifestyle and ease of living.   Certainly they experience some issues that take getting used to.   TV and Internet are not always reliable, electricity can be expensive and/or unreliable, and certain places have noise in the streets that takes getting used to.

Portugal is a place we want to explore as it has also welcomed many expats to its lovely climate and low key lifestyle.   That may be our first destination to explore as we research it fully.   We imagine selling most of our stuff, putting things in storage that we can't part with, packing bags and leaving for a while.   It's a way to reset, downsize, explore more of the world and enjoy something outside of our country.   There is such a strong undercurrent of stress here.   None of us can imagine how things are going to continue to change but for now, it feels disappointing.

Virginia, Portugal, Arizona, Mexico....who knows at this point?   We are doing research to write the chapter.   

 https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/06/10/11-reasons-to-retire-in-portugals-algarve


This photo is a wild daffodil growing in the woods of Virginia.   I had no idea they grew in the wild.   The next photo is a Redbud tree growing in the woods.   I was obsessed with these beautiful trees scattered among the others that hadn't yet leafed out.   

Thanks for stopping by and listening to my thoughts.



Not My Usual

I'm not sure if I have ever blogged about apparel or accessories or those types of things.   I purchased a couple things this year that ...