The Guardian and Trainie

The Guardian and Trainie
Nick and Babe

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gone too long.

I am still here people.  I am having a hard time writing.  I used to write first thing in the morning.  When I say morning I mean like 6 or 7 in the morning.  I guess I will just have to get used to writing any time of the day.  Oh what to talk about today.  Well for starters I am inside the house with the air conditioner on.  It is so hot outside that when stepping out the door it feels like an immense pressure.   The heat is so thick that you can hardly breath.  According to my temperature gauge on the north side of the house it is 107 degrees and the south side gauge reads the same.  I wonder what it is in the sun?  Hummmmm.  Well inside I am and inside I will stay until  I need to do something outside or it cools off.  I will be going to work tonight and hopefully it will cool down by then or I will just be one big sweaty mass. 
I watched a film today and it was really graphic.  I sobbed for the woman in the film.   "The Stoning of Soraya"  How do we make change happen?  How do we get people to see a better way of doing things?  Or maybe we just let it go and hope that change will come.  I personally do not see what can be done.  I suppose if I really thought I could help to make change I would drop what I am doing and go help.  I am not a martyr.
Life goes on, some things change, others don't and we do what we can.  I choose to stay here write, play, love and keep a mind set of we are spiritual beings having a human experience.  That is that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We have babies!

The bird box in front of my office window has had a couple of birds flying in and out for some time now and we have recently noticed at least three big fat baby birds.  Yes we are so happy.  We hoped that we would get some of our local birds nesting where we could see them and we did.  We also discovered a nest on our back porch.  We took a look and there are 5 little blue eggs in the nest.  The birds that are nested there are red finches.  We are so excited to see the new arrivals soon. 
Wow the sheep are on the move all of a sudden.  I thought that the rain had stopped for the week but no it just started dumping with a vengeance.  The sheep are heading for the cover of the barn.  Smart move.  Boy am I glad I am not out there.  The dogs don't look like they are liking it either.  Nicky our alpha male is huddled in the wood shed.  Nobody really wants to be drenched with water.  The birds all get under the back veranda and wait it out.  I love to watch them out of my kitchen window.  It is an opportunity to see a bunch of different types of birds at once.  Besides the bird feeder is back there and they can eat while they wait. 
Funny but I was just on line checking the weather for the weekend and there wasn't anything about rain.  Oh well I will just take it as it comes.  I sure hope it doesn't rain tomorrow.  I wanted to order top soil and have it delivered tomorrow but I won't if it rains.  It is supposed to be sunny this weekend.  Me and Al are going to work in the garden and get things planted.  We already planted lettuce, potatoes, two peach trees and another fig tree.  We are going to plant a lot of the same veges we had last year and add a few other things.  I planted some cilantro and I just found out that this is coriander.  I had no idea!  We always need some cilantro/coriander and the bunches they sell at the grocery store are always way more than we need so it only seemed sensible to grow some.  I moved all of my herbs to the big trough and this way I will not have to move them again.  I had them in the ground with the tomatoes and when Al wanted to rototill we had to move them and decided that we needed a more permanent place so in the trough they will stay.  Our chocolate mint (or rather Rosie's) went berserk so we transplanted that to a more conducive spot just outside of our garden space so it can do what ever it does and it won't be a nuisance.  I am looking forward to the new things we will be growing.  We are going to try some okra, we like that for our seafood gumbo, some pablano peppers for our abalone rellenos, yum yum and we have already planted in an upsy daisey planter a variety of hot peppers. We will be making our own salsa.  We will have our old tried and true bell peppers for stuffing and salads, eggplant we love eggplant pizza, zuchinni, patty pan and crook neck squash, lemon cucumber, pickling cucumbers, snap peas, pole beans, cantalope, honey dew and some kind of watermelon.  We are planning on putting in some apple trees, a apricot tree, a key lime and a meyers lemon.  I would love a cherry tree but have been told it wouldn't do well here.  Oh well.  Well I have to go my phone is ringing off the hook.  Love ya.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Belonging

My space in Point Arena
I just had this huge feeling of missing.  What am I missing?  I am missing people.  Not just anybody but real people.  Open people, people willing to go to the depths with you.  People who are not afraid to be anyone they want or need to be.  I do not consider myself judgemental but I do get chemistry from people.  Some people you click with and others you just pass right on by.  How long do we have on this planet and how much time do you waste?  I think I just know in my heart when it is right.  I like to go with that. We have to don't we?
I tend to be very isolated.  Not always by choice but having a hearing impairment does limit the interactions I am willing to put myself into.  It is a really strange feeling to be in a room full of people who are talking to one another and not be able to understand anything that is being said.  No matter how close I get to the group or even within the circle of people I still cannot follow the conversation.  It is a lot like an out of body experience.  I am an observer not a participant.  So I find myself alone a lot because it is what I am most comfortable with.  But hey I am a living being and we beings need contact, communication, flesh.  Today I am missing my people. 
When I moved to Point Arena I was completely flabbergasted.  I remember telling my mother that I had finally found my people.  I had been looking a long time for them.  Real people.  People just being themselves.  No one really special yet spectacular just the same.  People living life.  Yet so much more in touch with something deeper.  Not the I want to be like, act like, have more, more, more attitude.  Accepting, free, fun.  Oh yeah we all have our issues but to be in a community of folks and really be a part of that community is so exhilarating.  I do believe that I would like for my base to be back in Point Arena.  That is extremely important to me.  One can find small clusters of people all over the world who are open and real I am sure and I am sure there are other places in the world like Point Arena.  I do not have first hand experience with any other places.  I am not closed to what the future may bring.  I just know that Point Arena better yet the Mendocino Coast is a special place and my heart has been touched deeply.      

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lazy Day?

Sometimes you just feel like doing nothing and I feel that way today.  However doing nothing is not what I do.  As usual I got up today started the coffee, stoked the fire, turned on the computer and started knitting.  No I am not knitting " Cane Sweaters".  My youngest daughter Rosie's best friend from grammar school just had a little baby girl and I am making her a sweater.  I am almost done.  It is a really cool pattern.  The sweater zips up the back.  Everybody I have made one for seems to really like them.  As I mentioned in a previous blog I am trying to make up and complete projects so that I can do some new things.  I would really like to incorporate some Aboriginal painting techniques on some future art project.  I like their designs.  I saw an art car on the Mendocino coast when I lived up their.  A woman had painted an entire car with this Aboriginal design.  It was really cool.  The entire car was done in these dots with hands painted in different places.  I wish I could find a photo of it.  I tried looking for it on line but I didn't have any luck.  I keep thinking I would like to paint my car and maybe I will.  Even if I just painted a section at a time.  Like I have time to do anything like that right now.  Ha! 
Well here I am again sitting in front of the window and watching the Starlings flying in and out of their nest box.  I am sure that they have babies in there.  They are taking in a lot of worms.  I am looking forward to seeing the babies take flight.  I guess I should research when the eggs probably hatched and then find out how old the fledgelings have to be before they fly.  I love researching things.  One can learn so much and you do not have to go to school to learn.  Don't get me wrong.  I like school but sometimes the presure is just too much.  I would rather learn at my own pace and retain the information.  Not just learn quickly so that I can pass a test and get a grade.  Because that does seem to be the bulk of attending college sometimes.  I just love learning.  I don't really care how I learn just that I continue to do so. 
I was taking a test yesterday and some of the questions that were posed to me I was flabbergasted with.  Things I have heard of but just haven't currently thought about.  Like who was Madame Curie?   I remember studying about her but for the life of me I couldn't remember what she did or who she was.  Well she was a physicist, scientist and she was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity, she was the first person to receive two Nobel prizes, first woman professor at the University of Paris.  There is so much more but you get the idea.  If you want to learn more about her check out wikipedia there is lots of info there.  The questions I was being asked were quite intriguing.  I love being challenged or having my memory jogged.  Who was Cleopatra?  Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?  Who was the President of the United States during the civil war?  What are the names of all of the continents?  What is the capital of Italy?   Defining words also was posed to me.  Many I have used and heard but to define accurately is a whole different story.  I thought it was quite fun and of course I came home and looked up the things I could remember to see how accurate I was. 
I thought that the testing was pretty interesting.  I was taking it to see if I have any learning disabilities.  I want to rule out all possibilities and then proceed forward with the schooling thing.  I started this semester with a full load, 12 units and I ended up dropping all but one class.  I just couldn't seem to get the information into my head.  Of course I haven't been in school for over 10 years but still I had a similar problem when I was going to school before.  I just want to be sure as to the avenue I should be heading down.  I want to give myself every opportunity to succeed.  
I went into the tutorial center yesterday and met a couple of really nice folks who could be quite helpful.  One of which has a hearing impairment also and understood exactly where I was coming from.  I will stay in contact with them and get all the help I can. 
I have tried my whole life to get this school thing down.  It has been a tremendous struggle for me.  But god dam it I will get where I want to go.  Come hell or high water I will succeed!  I believe I am one class away from getting my AA.  I am currently working on my certificate for Medical coding and billing.  Then I would like to add to my repertoire of sewing skills.  Then who knows what else.  The sky is the limit eh?  Onwards and upwards I say.  I guess I will part here.  See ya later.  xxooxx

Friday, April 9, 2010

Oh the Wind

The Wind came up yesterday and I was fine with that until I went outside.  I have allergies and last night at work I was miserable.  Today I took some antihistamine.  I think it is helping but I am still sniffling, my eyes are watery and I thought I was going to pass the allergies up this year.  I thought that because the sheep keep the grass down that I wouldn't have any issues.  Wrong!!  Oh well I am just going to have to deal with it.  Along with the wind it is a bit on the cold side.  Got a fire in the stove and trying to stay warm.  The sun is shining so I know there are some warm spots to be outside but my allergies are so bad right now I just don't want to chance making them worse. 
As I write I am looking out my window and the Starlings are going in and out of their little home.  Baby birds soon to hatch.  It will be fun watching them.  I love watching all the wildlife around here. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Finishing up the deck

Corner of old deck.
Photos of the rebuilt deck to come as soon as I get my new camera.
Oh my am I sore!  I spent the entire day yesterday building my step for my deck, putting in a 4x4 support and completing the the deck floor.   The step that I replaced was only 4 feet long, the new one is 15 feet long.  It will serve as a step and a place to sit or put plants on.  It is 20 inches wide so it is a big step.  Our new/old deck is so nice with it's seat/bed and new floor boards.  It was a mess before.  I will be covering a foam pad for the seat/bed and covering some pillows so we can sit and read or take a nap on it.  What ever strikes our fancy.  I put up some reed fencing around the main deck for privacy but I am not sure I like it.  It blocks our view from inside the house.  I do not know if I will leave it up or not.  I really like the way things are looking though.  We have our new clear roofing on the veranda so lots of light coming in the house.  You can sit on the sofa and read without a light on now.  I will put back the extension that used to be in front of the existing veranda.  It will help with keeping the rain off the deck.  It will give us a little more protection. 
Next project who knows.  I plan to relax today.  No hard labor for me.  I will probably do some quilting.  I have so many projects to complete.  But one can only do so much.  I will get my breakfast and think about what I would really like to do.  A little bit of food in ones stomach can do a world of wonders. 
I had to start a fire this morning and warm up the house.  It is so windy today and I thought it was supposed to be in the low seventies.  So much for wearing shorts today.  I actually have on my down vest I'm so cold.  Well folks this is going to be a short entry for today.  I have to run to the grocery store and get a few supplies.  Talk at ya later.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Goslings are Dead!

Some of our local Geese.
Last Thursday the momma goose was on her nest as usual.  She was so devoted.  Friday I noticed egg shells.  I knew that something got into the nest but I decided to go check anyway just to be sure.  Yes no doubt about it something got into the nest and ate the goslings.   I was gathering some of the shells and turned to go back to the house.  On the trail buried under dirt and leaves was a whole goose egg.  I grabbed it, it was in good shape but really cold.  I thought maybe it would still be alive.  I checked around but couldn't find out any information so I went with the possibility that it was alive.  I fixed up a make shift incubator and warmed up the egg.  I left for the weekend and hoped.  When I got back the egg was still whole and I knew that even if it was alive it wouldn't be ready to hatch for another week or so.   In the mean time I searched on line for a bird rescue place to see if I could get any information regarding the possibility of the gosling being alive after getting so cold.  Well I found out that it was very unlikely and was told to just let it go back into the earth.  Maybe next year the goose will have better luck.  I was sad.  I so wanted the momma goose to have her babies.  Oh well.  I guess it really is better this way because I am of the understanding that the gosling would have imprinted on me and I would be the mother.  I do not need that right now in my life.  I do not want to be responsible for any more animals right now.  One old cat is enough!  I do not have the time, the money or the resources to be caring for animals the way they should be taken care of.  The guy who owns the sheep here on the property he needs to get an education on caring for animals or at least be compassionate.  These poor sheep are limping and some of them have maggots on them apparently.  I haven't seen them up close but that is what the owner has told me.  I sure hope he is doing something about it.  I don't think he is and that is based upon the way he is with his dogs.  I all about money.  Maybe a little about having something to do.  I really do not know.  It is just sad to see animals suffering needlessly.  But then hey that is the way of life.  Some are conscious and some aren't.  Oh well. 
I am looking out the window and it is a beautiful day.  The sun is shining and the sky is blue with a few clouds.  There is a little wind but nothing outrageous.  I am going to try to get some sewing done today.  I want to work somemore on my quilt and finish some other projects I have started.  It is time to get things completed and start some new projects.   Well folks I will talk at ya later. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Memories


The love of my life then.  The love of my life now.  Same guy!

What about those things?  Memories that float around in your brain popping up sometimes completely unexpected.  What about those memories?  They can send you into convulsive laughter and they can set the flood waters loose.  Well last night out of no where the flood waters were set loose.  Do you want to hear about them?  What do you think when one shares their deeper most inner feelings?  Does it scare you?  Is it embarrassing?  What?  Does it even matter?  Do you just lend an open ear?  Well let me tell you some more about me.  Here I am in front of my computer writing.  I do not start with something in mind to talk about.  Stuff just begins to flow.  I do not sit here with any particular intentions other than to write.  So enter these pages with an open mind and heart for what you might experience is up for grabs.
Do you ever think about your regrets?  Do you have any?  What do you do about them?  Can you do anything about them?  Do you ever think about leaving this place and talk to yourself about what it is you are doing and are you going to have any regrets?  I do think about these things.  I think about my girls first.  They are my number one.  I think we had a decent life.  We lived in a lot of interesting places, did some exciting things.  But it was not an uneventful life.  Happiness, fun yes we had our share of these feelings and experiences.  Sadness and stress we are familiar with these also.  Are we the better, stronger for these life experiences?  I believe so.  Would my girls feel the same?  I think so.  We did not live a conventional life!  I cannot say I didn't want to for no matter how much I believe that I am doing my own thing I realize I am influenced by society and the world we all share.  Outside pressures as to how people think things should be is incredibly difficult to keep at bay.   It is a constant struggle to stand up in the face of adversity and do what you think is right for you.  Decisions come and go directing the path of our lives and sometimes we no not where we will end up.  The decisions that I have made in my life were never with the intentions of hurting anyone!  People are hurt sure but I never intentionally set out to cause pain.  Struggle I have.  It seems to have been a prerequisite in my life.  Not that I ever expected things to be easy but I have wished that things would let up a little.  Don't get me wrong I appreciate so much.  I mean look at where I live for one.  I have three beautiful daughters.  They are healthy, have great partners and I have three beautiful grand kids.  I am thankful.
I am human.  I do have my regrets and they began before my girls were born.  This is a confessional day for me I guess.
I regret that I never finished High School.  I love learning.  I continue to learn to this day. 
I regret that I didn't stay with Al. He is the love of my life.  I was just to young to know any better.
The rest is water under the bridge.  I have made every effort to learn everything and anything my heart desires.  Whether or not I have a piece of paper to say I graduated doesn't really matter to me.  But it does matter to the world at large.  Me and Al are back together after 35 plus years and we love each other deeply.  We are working out our issues.  We both were terribly hurt by our split way back when and we have a lot of healing to do.   But hey life goes on and we intend to live it to the fullest.  I have some things I would change if I could but I can't take back what has already been done.  Maybe in another life huh?  Here and now I will do what I can to spread my love and happiness to those I care about and some of those I do not even know.  I love my life and the journey I am on.  Know you are loved and I hope that I can touch you deeply.  Namaste my friend.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Snow Yesterday and Sunny today who knows?

 The quilt on the left is one of two I made for my granddaughters and the one on the right I made for a really lovely lady for Christmas.  (That will be another story another day)
Yesterday just before heading to work I was talking with Al.  I said to him that it felt like snow and he said I was too low.  I went to the store before work and mentioned to the cashier what I said about snow.  The guy in front of me said we in fact did get snow at the northern end of Cloverdale.  What next?  It was just a couple of weeks ago that we had 75 degree weather.  Well that is the spring for you.  Sun today, rain tomorrow.  I just go with the flow.  I do not listen to the radio very often and when I do I am just listening to the music.  I do not have satalite or any other type outside news so I just go with the flow.  I am good with that.  It is what it is.  If I need a fire in the stove I light one.  It just happens that I have one going now and I love it.  I keep my bedroom door closed so that it is nice and crispy in there.  I like sleeping in a cold room.  I like the cold crisp air to breath.  Besides when your bed is nice and toasty who cares what it's like outside.  I have this routine that I do each night or rather each morning when I get home from work.  I come in the door shut off the outside lights, turn on my computer, head for the bedroom turn on my heated mattress that I have on my bed, change into comfy sweats, head for the kitchen, get a snack, boot up the internet and check out my farm.  I like playing with the farm.  It is a bit of relaxation for me.  Then off to bed to read for a while.  By 2am I am snuggled down under the covers and roasty toasty.  I am out like a light.  I only heat up half of my bed so that if I get too warm I can move over to the other side.  That is if Al isn't here.  Then I don't need the heat we create that all by our selves. He is not here right now so heating mattress it is.  When Al isn't around I do things a lot differently.  I read in bed, stay up late and in the morning my routine is totally different.   When I get up it is usually late by my regular standards.  Now that I work from 9pm to 1am my sleeping and waking patterns are totally screwed up.  Not what I would like and what I have been used to for many years.  But hay I have a job right?  When I get up in the morning I stoke the fire, start the water for coffee, turn on the computer and while I am waiting take my daily pills, thyroid and enzymes pills.  I have to take them on an empty stomach so coffee is the thing I have first.  After relaxing for about an hour reading or just putting around I have my breakfast.  Right now I love to have a bowl of shredded wheat sometimes with a banana and sometimes just with a bit of raw sugar.  I love to read when I eat my breakfast and I usually have a good book.  I just finished reading a James Harriet book, All things Great and Beautiful.   I think that was the one.   I read it many years ago and found it in the thrift store the other day.  I also just finished another book called Tisha a true story about a woman who went to teach in a remote Alaskan  village in the 1920's.  I finished that in a couple of days.  It was well written and really good I thought.  Now I do not know what I am going to read.  I have a couple of books I have started but they are slow going.  I may pick them up and try to finish them.  I am currently working on a quilt and would love to finish it.  I have a few that I need to complete and give to those who I started them for.  I started to make quilts for each one of the babies in my family but everyone started having babies so close together and there were a few of them that I got behind.  I would like to get caught up here soon and move on to other sewing projects.  I recently fixed a jacket for Al.  He has a quilted shirt jacket with a hood that he loves to wear around the ranch but it was literally falling off of him.  It belonged in the rag bag.  I wanted to remove the hood and put it on another quilted shirt/jacket he had but it was taking me a while to get around to it.  I finally jumped in and ripped the old one apart and fixed up a new one.  He loved it but misses the zipper so I will take off the buttons on the new one and put on a zipper instead.  So much to do and I love it.  So I will part here for now and get to the quilt.  I have a lot of catching up to do.  Love you all.  Keep coming back. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rainey, Rainey Day

Gee people I had no idea.  Sorry for the big space in writing.  There have been so many new things happening around the ranch.  My favorite puppy was just sold off!!  Boo Hoo,  big crocodile tears.  It was one of the worst days of my life.  I made friends with Babe and she loved me.  I could whistle for her and she would come running from really far away.  I could see her across the field and whistle.  She would look up and come a running.  I loved her.   She would prance up to me and flop her big body down on the ground welcoming my scratches and looking through her fur for stickers or ticks.  She loved the attention.  As I made friends with her she allowed me to put a collar on her and my goal was to get her to trust me enough to put her in the car without any problems.  The owner of these ranch dogs treats them like cattle.  You can't hardly touch them.  They do not trust you.  This makes for a really bad situation.  What if they need veterinary care?  They do need rabies shots and the basic puppy shots.  I took it upon myself to socialize the puppies who are now 16 months old.  Babe who is gone now was coming along.  The day she was to leave the owner asked me to help him catch her so he could take her to her new home I knew I could hold her but I had no idea how things would work out.  I got a hold of Babe's collar and it was suggested that I put a leash around her neck instead of clipping it on to her collar.  First big mistake!  She flipped out, hopping all over the place and the leash just got tighter and tighter around her neck which set her off and I felt terrible.  I let go of the leash and Al started barking at me about why I let her go and now I wouldn't be able to catch her.  Well at this point I really didn't give a holy shit about catching her.  All I could think was how I was totally screwing up the trust I had built up.  Well what did it matter now they were sending her away and I would never see her again anyway.  I caught her again and watched as they loaded her into a cattle cage like a piece of meat.  It killed me.  I was so sorry!  There was nothing I could do to change the situation.  She is gone now and I miss her.  She was such a good dog.  I will never understand the narrow minded mentality of the old school farmer/ranchers.  A dog must be cared for in a humane way.  The only way to attend to an intelligent animal is to socialize them.  When raising a working dog who has been bred to be a working dog they will do their job even if they are social with humans.  This particular rancher thinks that if his dogs are friendly with me or anyone for that matter that they won't do their job or they will allow themselves to be stolen.  This is a bunch of bunk but I haven't yet been able to convince him otherwise.  He does not want me to associate with his dogs.  I live on the ranch he does not.  I see these dogs everyday.  They come up to me and want attention.  I give it to them willingly.  I do not interfere with their job.  They go about their business every night.  The only way I could stop them would be to have them in the house at night.  I would not do that.  What I have observed is that during the day they do not work anyway they are guard dogs not herding dogs.  In the day time it is resting time.  Naturally they come and visit.  What I have observed also is that the only reason they might not visit is because someone has beaten them and they shy away thinking that they might be beaten by me.  The rancher thinks that this is a genetic trait.  How ignorant can a person be.  Pretty ignorant I would say.  It pisses me off just a little bit but hey these are not my dogs and I do not have a say in how they are raised.  However I do live on the ranch and I do see these dogs everyday.  Since Babe is gone Madrigal the other female pup is more friendly than when her sister was here.  Babe used to keep Madrigal apart from me.  Babe liked all of the attention.  Maddy has always been a bit more reserved when it came to people.  Her mom was beaten in the past by a previous owner and quite possibly by this owner.  I have never seen him do this but there have been signs.  Since the mother, Nina, is insecure about trusting people Maddy is also not sure or trusting.  I have always talked to the dogs and never expected them to come to me.  I just wanted them to know that I was no one they needed to be afraid of.  Hence they have come to me for attention.  Nina is not always comfortable enough to approach but she does sometimes.  I am here when she wants.  The big male dog, Nick has some how managed to make it through the abuse he has received over the years and still seeks out human companionship.  He is by far my favorite male and the only male on the property I might add.  He was Babe's companion.  She was his student.  Nick showed Babe that humans can be a great asset.  Humans give affection and they might give you some food now and then.  Maddy was taking notes from her mom and she just doesn't trust too much.  I continue to take baby steps with her.  She used to only bump me from behind and let me touch her without looking.  She got to a point where she would let me touch her face while looking at her but I couldn't touch her with both hands.  I got to the point where I would kneel down so I wouldn't be quite so threatening.  This worked a little and Maddy decided to play with me like she did with her sister.  She would paw me and kind of jump on me and I let her even though she is at least 100lbs.  I wanted her to know that I was not a threat.  After I got her to trust me more I had to stop her from jumping on me because she started to jump on me when I would go for a walk and sometimes I was not aware when she was approaching.  This was a bit hazardous.  I did not want to be knocked down.  She listens to me and she realizes that I still am okay.  She is still skitish enough that I am careful about how I reprimand her.  So she still will paw at me from time to time and I have to watch my back because she just might jump up on me.  She wouldn't mean to hurt me but she is a really big dog.  I created the behavior trying to get her to trust me and she is moving in that direction. 
The fleas and ticks are so bad here and the dogs recently got a bad case of ear mites that I took the matter into my own hands and bought a medicine to put on the dogs to take care of all of the issues.  The owner wasn't doing anything about addressing the issue so I did.  When the medicine came in I told him and he paid me back but I am the one who applies the medication.  As I told you earlier if you do not socialize your dog how are you going to treat them when they need something.  Well I could put medication on Nick and Nina but Maddy was going to be another issue.  She is so leary of any object coming at her.  It was really a challenge to get the medicine in her.  I did but it wasn't easy and it is a challenge each month to do it again.  I hope that things will change in the near future.  I tried to brush her the other day and I got in a couple of strokes but she just isn't ready yet.  Some day I hope.  I actually hope that she will plop herself down on the ground like her sister did. One can always hope right?  I work with the dogs whenever I can.  I am an animal person and nothing will ever change that. 
Speaking of animals we have so many different creatures on the ranch.  The ground squirrles are starting to come out and our bird population is so much more diverse this year.  Right now we have a Canadian Goose sitting on her nest and we hope to have goslings in a couple of weeks.  This goose is the same one that nested here last year and she can back again and is using the same nest.  I think that is so cool.  We watch her every chance we get.  Her mate is so good at keeping everything focused on him.  He stays at the other end of the pond attracting us towards him and away from her.  We also have a pair each of Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers, Mallards, Buffel Heads and Wood Ducks.  We hope all of them are nesting here but who knows.  In the nesting box outside my office window we have a starling couple nested up and looking forward to their babies.  I hope to make a few more nesting boxes for our Bluebird population and anyone else who will nest up here. 
The lizards started to come out with the warm weather last week and I am sure we will be seeing more of them.  I was sad the other day because when I was weed whacking out at the front entrance to the property I accidently injured a rather large lizard.  He looked to be reasonably okay and scurried off so I hope he/she healed up and will be fine.  I hate to hurt anything but accidents do happen.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching an American Kestrel pair above the lower pond.  They hung out for quite a while.  At least long enough for me to see them clearly and identify them accurately.  They are really cool looking.  The ones I was observing had what looked like eyes on the back of their head so you couldn't really tell from which direction they were looking.  I am sure this must have something to do with faking their prey out. 
We recently have had a visit by a Cormorant.  We thought this was a bit unusual but when I looked it up in our bird book I found out that where we are located is such a place that they would visit but not necessarily nest.  I believe that it is a Double-Crested Cormorant.  Our Quails just returned.  They have been gone all winter.  I do not as of yet know where they go.  I will be researching that soon.  I think I have mentioned before that we have Robins, Finches, Oak Titmouses that we call helmet heads because they have a little tuft of feathers on the top of their head, Humming birds and so many others that we do not yet know the names of.  Many of the little birds hand outside our kitchen and under the veranda at the back of the house.  We have a single bird feeder outside the kitchen and a variety of birds eat there.  Our wood pile is at the back of the house under the veranda and the birds love to hang out there.  Well folks I will do my best to write each and everyday.  Thanks for checking back with me.  See you tomorrow.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's Raining It's Pouring

The date on this photo is so wrong!
This was our last 2010 rain.
I wake up this morning to the sound of rain.  It is now noon and it is still coming down hard.  Like we needed more rain.  I just got part of the wet grass mowed and was going to finish it off but not now.  I see some of the birds but where do they all go in the rain.  I guess they are hiding out in the trees.  That's where I would be if I was a bird.  It is a little cool in the house today.  I have been trying to stoke up the fire but it just doesn't want to go.  I guess I need smaller pieces of wood.  That means I will have to go outside.  I really do not want to go outside.  I have been sitting here for about an hour looking at photos of my nieces and nephews.  I love facebook because I can keep up with what everybody is doing and I didn't have to drive anywhere.  I am looking forward to having everyone here for another family gathering.  I will try to have it when it is a little bit cooler.  I will also work on painting the extra bathroom before everyone comes.  It looks awful.  I intended on getting it painted when I moved in but never got around to it.  I will this year.  There have been so many other things to get done.  The bathroom just was not the priority.  Me and Al want to put a pool in this year so we have a place to cool off.  Then we can gather no matter how hot it is.  We are trying to get to the point where we can get under the house to clean it out.  Then we will level the house and fix the skirting.  So much to do and so little time.  The rain isn't helping either.  We want to landscape the yard and put in an outdoor shower and tub, with hot and cold water.  Woo, hoo that's what I am talking about.  We also have to get our garden going.  Plus we still haven't finished putting up the roof that was blown off the veranda.  Wow, I getting tired just writing about all the things that need to get done.  Never a dull moment.  Well we do what we can when we can and don't sweat about it.  Well folks I will be back gotta go.  We will talk later.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

GOOD MORNING MY PEEPS

Looking northwest from the vineyard.  You can't see my house but I am behind the white house on the left of the photo behind the trees
What a good morning it is too.  I just completed my first class.  Emailed in my paper and I am done.  We had to write a three page paper and I was stressing a little bit about it.  I write here but I just write the stuff that fills my head.  My paper had to be a bit more organized.  For the life of me I just couldn't figure out what I was going to write about.  Then late last night it came to me and hit me like a ton of bricks.  I got to writing and I just couldn't stop.  My paper was only supposed to be three pages and I was writing a book.  I had to trim it back a bit, which I did.  I registered for another class this summer.  I ended up dropping all but one of my classes this semester.  I was in way over my head and drowning quickly.  That is no way to learn.  One class at a time.  All of the classes I was taking required me to memorize.  One can only memorize so much at one time and four classes of memorizing medical terms and law was just too much.  This summer should be a lot less stressful.  Besides me and Al want to go backpacking.  I am looking forward to that.  I haven't been backpacking since me, my mom and my sister went many years ago.  Me and Al are going to Granite Lake I believe.  We went there when we were in high school.  I told Al that I wasn't going to carry anything over twenty pounds and I am going to try to stick to that.  I was carrying my day pack the other day and I think it was about that heavy.  I might have to renege on the weight.
Today I was looking out the kitchen window and I noticed a goose I have not seen before.  I called Al told him what it looked like and he said it was probably a snow goose.  I looked it up in our bird book and sure enough it is a snow goose but it is a juvenile goose.  Juvenile snow geese are white with a dark gray beak and gray feathers across the top of their head going down their neck and back.  Eventually they turn all white.  How cool is that.  We have a snow goose on the property.  We haven't seen one of those here before.  He is alone though.  I hope he or she mates up and they nest here.  That would be so cool.  Right now we have our Canadian geese that nested here last year back and we built nesting boxes for our Mallards, Mergansers and Wood Ducks.  I just hope they will all nest here.  I am going to build more boxes for our little birds.  I want to encourage as many birds as possible.  I love watching them.  I also have an ulterior motive.  I want eggs.  I don't care if they are broken eggs I just love seeing the different colors and sizes.  I wish I could find some Humming Bird egg shells that would be really cool.  Al brought me a nest from a Humming bird last year.  Now I just need some eggs.  Last year we had Quail coveys but they have all gone.  Where do they go in the winter?  I hope they come back! 
I was driving into our driveway yesterday and there was a Hawk on the gate.  It flew off but landed in a tree at my eye level.  I got a really good look at it.  They are so beautiful.  We have a couple of different types of Hawks on the ranch.  We have a Pigeon Hawk or Merlin, a Red Tailed Hawk and I think there is another type but I need a better look in order to identify it. 
I will take pictures for you all to see but right now I am without a camera.  We broke it trying to put it up against the spotting scope.  The lens was jammed and we were trying to fix it and just made it worse.  The camera was a gift from my daughters Heidi and Dana.  It served me well for many years.  I am looking around for another one.  Boy have cameras changed.  I think I would like to get something I can change the lenses on.  We'll see.  Well folks I have some quilting to do talk to you all later.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dali Lama

Wow!! What a spectacular human being.  I suppose that if we all spent our lives in spiritual training we might be like him as well.  We can aspire to be kind, loving and peaceful beings.  I know in my heart that killing with kindness is a valid way of doing things but I also know that the reality is sometimes you have to be knocked into awareness.  It is inevitable.  In my experience most of us learn from the school of hard knocks and that includes school.  School is not easy everyone works at it albeit in different ways but we all have to work, to get ahead, to learn, to grow.  Often when we choose to sit back and let things happen as they will nothing gets done.
I was in a situation recently where I was being told by my manager that I needed to remove some carts from the building.  I was clocked out and on my way home.  I told him that it was not my responsibility, I was clocked out and headed home.  He proceeded to tell me that he had told me earlier in the week that it was my job to remove the carts during my shift.  He never told me this I would have remembered.  I would not blatantly dismiss something I was told to do.  We argued and I left in a huff.  Now I knew that I was right but during our arguing he threatened me with the possibility of loosing my job.  That worried me some and made me angrier.  To make a long story short.  I had to stand up to him and his threats, push back hard so to speak and not let myself be bowled over by fear and insecurities.  I had to try to cause change.  If I had just ignored the situation and done what he told me to do he would keep being a bossy jerk.  We, humans are equal,  no one is better than anyone else.  Yes we all make different choices which take us down different paths but remove the layers of crap and we are all the same heading in the same direction.  We all want to be happy!  I believe that we all want to ultimately get along.  I want to go to my job, do my work and go home a peaceful and content being.  However I will not tolerate being taken advantage of, nor abused.  I will stand up for my rights and I have always made sure I know what my rights are!  I will stand and be heard!! I am woman hear me roar!!  Ha, Ha, Ha.  (Helen Reddy)  Yeh!  Together we can all be strong.  We can all win.  We can all be successful.  We live on this globe together.  Our basic human rights should be met.  Food, clothing, shelter and health should be provided to all living beings on the planet.  All for one and one for all.  So I guess on some level I at least for now will not come close to filling the Dali Llamas shoes but heh I can aspire.  Love to you all.  See you later.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Birds of a Feather Flock together

One of Our Great Blue Herons
Boy am I glad they do too.  I am sitting at my desk and looking out the window at the bird box we put up on our old father oak tree.  We put the box up for our Northern Flickers but how were they to know.  The box has been taken over by a Robin couple.  I am sooo excited!  I get to watch them all the time now.  The box is so big that they could share but obviously they won't.  I will just have to make some more nesting boxes.  What a pity more birds.  We currently have a what seems to be a pair of Great Herons on the property and at least one Egret.  A couple of weeks ago we were fortunate enough to observe a pair of Hooded Mergansers courting.  This is really something to see for their hoods are always up during their courtship.  We have seen them many times before but not with their hoods up.  They are sooo beautiful.  The male has a black hood and the female has a golden brown hood.  I think we were very fortunate to see the courtship of these birds.
We also have a pair of Mallards and a pair of Wood ducks.  We are hoping that all of our nesting boxes will be occupied this year.  I am looking forward to cleaning them out at the end of the season.  I am hoping for a few broken eggs.  Maybe even a whole egg that didn't hatch.  I will be sure to take lots of pictures and share them with you all. 
Last year we were fortunate enough to have a pair of Canadian Geese nest on the ranch.  They hatched 5 goslings but none made it to adulthood.  How sad.  Tis is the way of life.  With so many predators in the air they were just not meant to be.  Although it is possible that the dogs got the babies but I doubt it.  We are hopeful for a better survival rate this year.  All one can do is hope.  Well we could put up some fencing around the upper pond and hope that the geese are protected that was but fencing is expensive so I doubt that will happen.  Oh well. 
 
Installation of Duck Nesting Box
It is such a beautiful day here today.  The sun is shining, the sky is mostly blue there are a few clouds out and the sheep are everywhere.  It seems that all they ever do is eat, poop and baa.  They are the noisiest creatures.  I swear they are rarely quiet!  It can be rather annoying.  I wish we could run miniature horses here instead of sheep.  The smells and sounds would be so much more pleasant and none of us eat lamb anyway. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I am back

 
Bird Box Day on the Upper Pond
Sorry folks I have been out of touch with a lot of things lately.  I am not sure how I am going to approach this particular blog.  I guess some semblance of honesty would be good, however too much and I might send you running the other way.  As some of you know I started school full time.  I was so excited.  I can't tell you how long I have been trying to get my degree.  I have taken classes now and then my whole life.  Well not exactly my whole life.  I started taking classes after I had my first daughter.  I wanted to prove to myself that I was smart, that I could learn.  I dropped out of high school and that is never looked upon as a good thing.  I am not proud of that myself.  I wish I would have stayed in school.  I love learning.  Anyway I signed up for some classes and I had a hard time sticking with it.  I moved on and didn't take classes again for another couple of years.  I tried going back to school again after my second daughter was born.  This time I completed a few classes.  I took some kind of career class hoping to find out just what field I would be best suited for.  I always wanted to be a nurse and after taking the career class things pointed me in that direction.  I didn't take anymore classes until  my girls were a few years older.   We were living in Visalia, California.  I decided to try and take a full load of classes.  I can't remember how many classes.  I just remember that I was always telling myself that I need to get my degree.  Somehow I knew that I would need to be educated to get a job that would allow me to support myself and my children above the poverty level.
I am hearing impaired.  Not many people know what it means to be hearing impaired.  I didn't even know what it meant or quite how it effected my life for many years.  But it is who I am, it is what has made me who I am today.  It has colored my entire life.  I am so different from many people because of the impairment.  Now I am sure that there are many similarities if we were to sit down and compare.  However it would not change the fact that not hearing effects the type of job I can do.  Hence one of my desires to get educated.
I seem to have a limited corridor of the kinds of jobs I can do because of my hearing.  I do not know if this is self inflicted or if it is really due to the fact that I can't hear. That is not entirely true.  I cannot answer phones.  That is a given.   I have a really hard time being in situations where I have to deal with the public unless I can set up how it is I am going to communicate.  It is hard for me to be in situations with people coming at me, like being a cashier,  it is too much too fast for me to interpret.  That is what I do with the type of hearing loss I have I am interpreting all of the time.  It is exhausting to be constantly interpreting.  I can't physically and mentally keep it up for very long. I am very good at interpreting English, but then English is my only language and I have found it near impossible to learn any other language.  I hear vowels, I am deaf when it comes to hearing consonants.  I was raised with English speaking people, live in a country with English speaking people and attended school in this country.  English is my language.  I can interpret it extremely well.  But it some how effects the way I can work or rather the type of situations I can work in.  Right now I am working at Home Depot.  I work at night, I do not have to deal with the public.  I work independently so I do not have to deal with talking with people very much.  The pay is decent but it is part time.  The company works on the concept that we are just one big happy family!  Woo, woo!  So many of the jobs I have had are great for me with my hearing loss but they do not pay enough for me to do anything but exist.  Now I realize that in today's market most of us are doing just that, existing.  I have been doing this all of my life and I am tired!  Hence why I started back to school I thought that it is never too late.  I thought that I could take a full load of classes and be done in one year and onward and upward.  Not!!!  I found myself drowning.  I was taking all classes that I had to memorize and that is one of the greatest difficulties I have found with my hearing impairment.  I just can't seem to get information into my head easily or quickly and the classes I was taking you go one week get a load of information and then test get more information the next week test and it just goes on and on until  the end of the semester.  I couldn't do it.  I can't do it.  It was just too much too fast.  I am now wondering if I am trying to get into the wrong field.  Why am I not taking something that works for me but what?   It seems that the things that I have a passion for don't pay anything.  Maybe I haven't tried hard enough.  Well I know that isn't true.  I didn't get to be 55 years old not trying hard enough.  I am a hard worker!  I get a lot of things done and I do them well.  Trying hard enough is not the problem!
I have one more week of my Microsoft Word class and I will be glad when it is over.  I do not know which class I will take next.  What ever it is it will be the only class I will take.  One class at a time.  I think that will be enough for my brain to handle.  Any class I take will be a semester of memorization.  One thing I have going for me is that I already made most of the flash cards for three different classes.  That in it self is an accomplishment.  I can tell you seriously that I was studying my every waking moment and still not learning anything.  That is just not right.  So as I said it will be one class at a time.  Enough of this banter I have a house that has been seriously neglected.  Cat hair and dust everywhere!  Anybody want a twenty year old cat?  I am tired!

Monday, February 8, 2010

 After the truck slide.
The weekend was off to a great start.  I love life it has so many adventures to participate in.  I had a lot of studying to do this particular weekend.  Al decided that he would cut wood.  He said that he was going to start cutting up the downed wood, leave it where he cut it up and go to the next one.  This one stopped him in his tracks.  It has been raining and the ground was/is really wet!  He drove over to this particular spot and was in position to begin cutting but he decided that he would back the truck up just a little bit more.  Well the truck began to slide and there was not one thing Al was going to do about it.  Fortunately the truck turned while sliding and was facing forward when it slid into the vineyard fence.  The fence was bent over, two stakes pulled out of the ground and the only way to get Al out of the predicament he was in was to cut the fence and try to get down to the road without getting stuck in the mud.  Al called me on the cell phone and had me come out to help him.  The barbed wire was stuck on the top of the camper shell and he wanted me to cut the wire in order to be able to free the truck!  I could see that if I cut the wire the way it was it was going to fly and I wanted to be sure it was not going to hit me.  There was a lot of tension on that thing!  I said something to Al  so he decided to see if he couldn't back up the truck a bit.  Take the tension off of the wire and I would be able to cut the wire without any mishaps.  It worked and the truck was free!  Al got off the hill and onto the road without any problems.  Now we could focus on the fence.  The fence keeps the sheep out of the vineyard so we had to get it back up the best we could for right now.  We didn't have a "come along" here on the property or we would have fixed the fence properly right away.  Al will bring one up next weekend and then we can put the fence back the way it was.  I didn't get any photos of the truck in the fence and stuck on the barbed wire because I didn't remember to bring my camera!  I am really trying to get in the habit of bringing my camera everywhere I go.  You never know when there will be a photo opportunity and inevitably there is always a photo opportunity.  I did however get a few photos after the truck was gone and the fence was back up with the slid marks so we have some photo record.  Anyway this is how our weekend started.  What other adventures lie ahead?
 Al picking the oranges
We like to go for walks every morning with a cup of coffee and who knows where we will end up.  However this morning we knew we wanted to go pick oranges.  Our oranges aren't very sweet but they have a lot of vitamin C and we like to juice them with a couple of apples and some of the carrots we still have growing in the garden.  We picked about 16 oranges so that both of us would have juice to drink for the next week.  It is always fun walking around the property.  No matter what direction we go in there is always something different to see.  What with all of the storms there are new trees that have fallen and branches blow around, moss blown out of the trees and water everywhere.  We have been noticing lots of mushrooms sprouting up.  Neither one of us knows anything about edible mushrooms so we just look and take note of all the different types.  It is pretty cool to see how some of them grow in what is called a fairy circle.  Mother nature is quite amazing.  Makes me want to learn more, read more.  I took a microbiology class once but ended up dropping out.  I just couldn't get all that foreign information into my head.  Now I have a different attitude and approach to learning the stuff.  I just want to know I do not need to know and I do not need a grade either.  Woo, woo what a way to go.  Learn, just cause.  Humph, what a concept.  I think I like it.  Knowledge I love it.  I love to share it too!
My sweaty peeling oranges for our morning breakfast.  We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to walk out our front door and go pick fruit to have for breakfast. We have three oranges trees and they all produce tons of oranges but when they get ripe is beyond me.  We just keep checking on them and eat as we go.  Maybe one of these days we will be able to know when they will be sweet.  It seems that when we first started picking them they were sweet in October.  This year they weren't even ready by then.  I do know that we have different crops from the same trees like maybe someone grafted different types of oranges on the same tree.
One of the babies on the property.  We have hundreds of lambs right now.  They will grow up here and then in June or July most of them will be sold off.  This year though some of them will stay on to replace some of the old yews.  It is so much fun watching the babies.  As they begin to grow they become more and more like human children.  They gather together in groups and create havoc. Not that human babies create havoc.  But here there is always a group of little rams in training.  They will charge one another butting heads and they sometimes pick the smaller ones knocking them over but they all just get right back up and go for more.  They run, jump and kick in mid air playing all day long in between suckling for nourishment and reassurance, then gathering together for a bit of a nap.  Most of the lambs will hang together while the mom's eat and eat and then eat some more. 
The Spring
Our next stop on the agenda was to check out the spring and see if we couldn't get the two new big storage tanks full of water.  We want to get them full and let them overflow into the pond so we can keep it full all summer if possible.   It is a goal of ours to have this pond for a swimming hole.  We will see.  While we were down at the spring we were cleaning leaves away from our overflow line and when we went to turn over one of the big cement blocks there was a giant toad.  Al picked it up and it was the coolest looking  creature!  I did not have my camera this time either.  But let me tell you this toad was huge.  The biggest one I have seen on the property yet.  I would say it was about 12" long and maybe the body was 6" across.  Al and I both kissed it.  Nothing happened so we must already be the prince and princess manifest.  
We came back the next day hoping to find the toad but it must have burrowed in somewhere because we couldn't find it. Oh well it is a lesson in making sure to bring my camera everywhere.  Well folks I must part here.  I have school work to get to.  Love you all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberatly. I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow out of life". Henry Thoreau

Sometimes I wake up and wonder, "What's going to happen today"?  I sit here preparing for the day and I wish I could sleep less.  There are so many things I love to do and not enough time in the day.  Right now I am going to school so that does cut into a lot of the extra time I would have.  I just keep plugging along trying to get everything I want done.  I have this little routine that I do when I get up.  Depending on how I feel depends on how I get out of bed. This morning I didn't want to get up.  It was colder in the room than I would have liked it to be.  I keep my bedroom door closed all day and night to keep the room cool.  I love sleeping in a cold room.  My bed is like sleeping on a cloud.  Between the bed and my down comforter I feel like I'm in a cloud.  It is so roasty toasty.  This morning when I woke up I was all snug in my cloud and with the room being cold I just didn't want to get up.  I laid there for a while falling back to sleep for about 45 minutes. I told myself I better get up or I wouldn't get all the things I needed to do done.  I tossed back the covers exposing myself to the cold room.  Throwing on my sweats and a thermal shirt for I wasn't going anywhere this morning I headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth.  When I look in the mirror each morning I wonder where that young woman went?  Now there is this gray haired woman looking back at me.  I look and check to see if there are any changes.  Isn't it interesting to see yourself and note how there might be more wrinkles or maybe you just noticed your first real wrinkle.  Maybe it just hit you all at once, now you are old?  I like to look at it like I am in the Autumn of my life.  I love Autumn.  Anyway I took my pills and I was ready to start the day.  I greet Kali, my old cat, who no longer sleeps in my room because she likes to sleep up by my head and I do not like that.  The fire has died down so I stoke it up to keep the house warm.  I zap yesterdays "Peppermint Mocha", feed the cat, turn on the computer and lay out my web sites.  I have to check my emails, read  the lastest communications on Facebook and get my blog opened so that I can get on with the rest of my day.  I have a lot of reading to do, flash cards to make so I can study all of the information I have to remember for each of my classes.  That is the beginning of my day.  We haven't even gotten past 9am yet.  I still have to touch bases with people on the phone and that can take hours.  I seriously do not know how I get it all done sometimes.  Well I must part here.  I have got to get back to making my flash cards.  See you all later.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Carpe diem

This is going to be short and sweet today folks.  I have two classes and a big test today so I really need to get to work.  I haven't written for a couple of days.  I have been pretty busy.  I had some reading to catch up on, flash cards to finish up and Al came up this weekend.  Al came up on Saturday after hunting for pheasants with his daughter Janet and his brother Bob.  They got 10 birds I believe.  We have 3 in the freezer, ate one and I got the feathers from one of the birds.  Pheasants are good to eat but they can be tough.  I am still learning how to cook these little buggers.  I got some feathers because I am planning on making some masks.  Me and Al have found a few hip bones from dead sheep and they look like a mask already.  I just thought that it would be interesting to add some adornments to the bones and make them look really cool!  I keep thinking about when me and Al go to burning man we will need some costuming and I want to prepare now.  We aren't going until Al retires, which will be in another 18 months.  Anyway more on that another day.
Sunday we took our ritual walk checking out the property.  There is always some sort of change that has happened on 300 acres and we love to check it all out.  Trees are always falling, more fire wood, and there are a lot of mushrooms out there right now.  After the big storm we had there was also a lot of fallen moss.  There are so many different kinds some I have never seen before.  I tried to take some photos of them and some of the photos turned out pretty good but some I just couldn't get clear enough.  I am going to collect some and see if I can't spread it out, dry it and use it in some kind of adornment for a costume.  Some of the moss, (I think that is what it is) looks like lace.  Some of it looks sort of alien, like it dropped down from some other planet.  These are the kind of things we see on our walks.  We were actually on our way to pick some of the oranges we have on the property.  We like to juice them for our breakfast.  The oranges are a bit sour yet but we just add some apples and a few carrots out of our garden and "yum"  tasty juice to drink not to mention the vitamins we are getting with the fresh fruits and vegetables.  On our walk we met up with the vineyard manager, Joe.  We talked for a while and asked him when he would be going to Italy again?  We want some grappa.  It is good stuff.  Powerful!!  He said he would check with his son and see if he had any maybe he could get us some.  We hope so.  After talking for awhile off we were for home, breakfast and we still had cleaning up to do.  We also wanted to hang up our "Merganser" nesting box.  Well actually it would be a nesting box suitable for any of the ducks we have on the property.  We have Mallards, Wood ducks and Mergansers.  We also have Canadian Geese but they nest on the ground.  We had one pair nest last year.  The goose laid 5 eggs.  We only ever saw three goslings and none of the goslings made it past a few weeks.  At least we didn't see any after a while.  We did observe the goose with three babies and then two, then none.  Oh well that is the way of life.  Some make it and some don't.  Well folks I think I will stop here.  Love you all stay healthy and see you later

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunshine!!


This morning I woke up to the sun!!  Yeah, I love the rain but sun is good too.  Besides I need to get my porch covered.  I would have gotten this posted this morning but what with school and all it just didn't get done.  I'll be back in the morning.  Friday morning that is.  Love Me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Up and at them. The early bird catches the worm.



 Culvert blocked up and over flowing above the upper pond.
The early bird definitely catches the worm.  When I got up yesterday morning the Robins were out in full force.  They were out getting the worms. 
I am up early this morning.  I have lots of things to do.  What with school and all of the other things I need to get done.  I am one busy gal.  Saturday Al and I put up the new green house panels over the front door area.  We had to get that covered first because of the rain pelting the house.  The rain was coming through the door.  Now we discover that the second half of the veranda that blew over the house was put up because the rain and wind have no mercy.  The cover over the front door really does nothing other than keep the rain out of the house.  The entire porch is soaking wet and extremely slippery.  We know we have to finish the covering over the veranda that is right next to the house and now we are also aware that we have to reconstruct the second veranda as well.  Otherwise we will never be able to keep the rain out.  The decks will be constantly wet and slippery.  So anyway onwards and upwards.  I tell you it is never a dull moment here.  There is always something happening.  On Sunday we went to a fiddle contest and let me tell you the music was hot.  There are so many good musicians out there and they don't have cd's.  I would love to invite them to my house for dinner and have them break out their instruments.  I would be in seventh heaven.  It was interesting to observe the folks who were attending the competition.  Women were knitting and sewing it was so cool.  You could just sit around and enjoy the music and get something else done.  I could get into that.  Maybe next year.  We had to get home and dig out the ditches some because the rain had washed more silt down and they weren't draining.  It rained all night last night so we are glad to have gotten that job done, again!  Well folks I have to part here.  See you all tomorrow.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Time to replace the roof


Today is the day.  The veranda roof has got to be replaced so that when it rains the front door doesn't leak.  I know the door shouldn't leak but this double wide mobile home has been neglected for a long time and has a lot of issues.  We are taking care of them one at a time and each problem has a place on the list of many things that need to be done.  The weather has just pushed some of them up on the list of priorities.  This is going to be a short blog today.  I have a lot of work to do and I may check back later this afternoon.  See you all later.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another day on the planet


Well what shall we talk about today?  The cat I have who is 20 years old.  I haven't given her the time of day here and I think it is about time I do.  This cat of mine our family has had since we found her and her mother with 4 other kittens in our black berry bushes in 1990.  She was a cute kitten and we decided to keep her.  We found homes for all of the other kittens and the mother.  This little kitten we named Kali Ann after a doll I was making at the time.  Kali as we have always called her was raised with a ferral mother, so Kali's defense mechanisms are a bit on the wild side to say the least.  I think that this is why she has lived so long.  This is my guess.  I did have a vet that thought that this wildness could be related to why she has lived so long.  Who knows for sure.  The fact is that she is still alive and doing quite well I might add to my chagrin.  Kali started out belonging to my middle daughter.  Kali was her cat but when my daughter moved away from home I inherited the cat.  I was fine with the arrangement because I would never want to give away any of our animals.  So with me Kali has stayed.  Now I personally have never liked the cat because she has always been too rough.  No matter what you do to reprimand her she still will use her claws too much and she used to attack when petted.  I hated her.  She hurt me and I did not like it!!!  She would draw blood regularly.  I eventually learned how to deal with her grabbing me and that was to just not pull away.  Well you are still getting her claws dug into your skin, hurting and drawing blood.  I just got to a point where I stopped petting her.  Now I will add here that she has moved everywhere with me and I have had other cats and she is the only one who has stuck around.  I have to give her something there.  She also grew up with our family dog, Alaska.  They were a formidable team.  They protected the property together where ever we lived.  I remember once that Kali was in a stand off with a stray cat and she was holding her own but little did she realize that Alaska was standing behind her but the cat she was in a stand off with knew.  The stray was not going to make a move to attack Kali with a big dog backing her up.  The stray ran off and Kali was proud.  She acted like she took care of things all by her self.  I know that Alaska had a paw in it all but who's going to tell Kali.  It was like that between them.  The dog respected the cat and visa versa.  Ali lived for 12 years and I had to put her down.  Kali on the other hand continued to guard the perimeter of our yards for many years.  She finally did get to the point where she was just not as fast as she used to be and got bit one time and that was the end of her being the guardian cat.  It was now her time to pass over the responsibility to one of the other pets.  Over the years Kali did have to share the family with other pets, both cats and dogs.  She never bonded with any of them like she did with Alaska or Ali as we called her.  Kali has always been the "Queen".  "She who must be obeyed".  She never got cozy with any one of the other animals we had.  It was always she who must be obeyed!!!  However I did have the pleasant experience of observing her teach a couple of the kittens that my youngest daughter adopted.  I was at the front of the house where there are big windows where one could watch the goings on in the yard with out being seen.  I heard an unusual cat cry or sound.  One that I do not remember hearing before.  I looked outside and saw Kali sitting just outside our front door with a live mouse trapped beneath her paws and she was meowing in this deep guttural sound.   I had never heard her do this before and I was wondering what she was doing when I noticed the two kittens come running up to her.  She had been calling them.  For right when they arrived she released the mouse and let them play with it.  She was doing what comes naturally, teaching the kittens about mousing.  Kali was turning over the responsibility of catching the mice to the youngsters.   For I do believe that she never caught another mouse, lizard or snake after that.  She had earned her keep all the past years and it was now somebody else's turn.  Kali is a hearty cat not too big as cats go she only weighs 9 lbs but she has pushed her weight around.  When Ali was alive I remember that Kali would go to rub up against Ali and Ali would stand stiff and still as a board for there were many times that Kali would box Alaska for no good apparent reason.   Ali knew better than confront Kali.  She was like an accident waiting to happen and no one wanted to be involved not even the dog.  Kali moved everywhere with us.  She has lived in Folsom, California where she was born, in Grass Valley where she would walk down to the river with us.  She lived in Point Arena on coast of Mendocino.  She has lived in the "Million Dollar Valley" in Geyserville and she currently lives in Cloverdale on a 300 acre ranch.  She has lived a full life and I frequently wonder when her life will end.  I have never had a cat live so long.  She still acts like a kitten now and then.  It's kind of weird.  She really hasn't shown many signs of aging.  She doesn't really see quite as well but she moves around just fine.   She used to have more black fur and now she has a lot of gray in her fur.  She doesn't retract her claws as well and she has this horrible habit of barfing.  I have had her to the vet and he says she is doing unusually well for a cat her age and he even asked me if I really knew how old she was!  As if!!!   For he couldn't believe she was that old.  She doesn't get shots anymore because she doesn't really go anywhere.  She is content to stay around the immediate perimeter of the house or just stay inside.  Right now she is planted right in front of the fire place.  In the winter that is where she likes to be.  In the summer she prefers to be outside baking in the heat.  Well so much for now.  I have other things to tend to.  See you all tomorrow.  Peace

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Good Morning People!!!


Upper Pond 
Well it is still raining.  We had a little bit of thunder and lightning last night with some wind but nothing of the magnitude on Tuesday night.  Having my front roof lifted and blown off, now the front door is leaking a bit but I think that we are going to recover the veranda this weekend.
I awoke this morning with a new spurt of energy.  I have started my fresh home made tomato soup, got my chocolate peppermint mocha, stoked the fire, did my stretches/exercises and I am getting my blog done so that I can focus on my school work.  I am committing myself to this regimen each and every week day with a break on the week ends only.  I have so much I want to accomplish for myself and I do not want to fail.  Have you ever had a goal and you know it is important to you but you just can't seem to make it happen?  Well I have at least one of those and I struggle with it everyday!!!  I want to loose weight, get in shape, feel better, look better, wear anything I want!!!!  I have always wanted these things for myself and I just can't seem to make it happen.  I am not sure exactly what the problem is but I am going for the gusto again and hope that this time I accomplish what it is I am seeking.  Help!!!!   I realize that what I eat is a big part of my failure and sometimes my carbohydrate cravings seem so unreasonable, out of control actually.  They seem to be the one thing that satisfies me.  I do not get the relief from hunger from anything else like I do with the carbs.  Humph,  What is up with that?  Habit?  Well I am back on my "SparkPeople" site charting what I eat and taking note of the calories and being sure to eat a balanced diet.  Fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy you know the pyramid thing.  I know I can't forget the exercise either.  I know how easy it is to just sit around and be relaxed, (lazy?) eat and get fatter.  I am not happy that way.  I love to relax.  I love to eat good food but I do not like the weight gain.  That is no fun when you go to get dressed and your clothes are tight and you definitely do not want to buy bigger clothes!!!   Especially when you have a closet full of nice clothes and you want to get smaller not bigger.  Well onward and upward.  Try, try again I shall.  My boyfriend is an inspiration to me.  He decided to loose the weight and get in shape and he did it.  I am going to do it too and he helps me.  It is so much easier when he is around.  We both eat really clean and generally do not over eat.  So wish me luck and lots of commitment.  See you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Day After


Boy I must say the power of the wind is incredible.  In this photo the front veranda roof is sitting on top of the back veranda roof.  What you do not see in this picture is that all of the supports went with it.  There were 4x4s on the house roof and under these metal panels are all of the 2x4's and other supports.  I found a pier block at my back fence.  It was at least 300ft away from where it started and it had to go over the house to get there.  Could there have been a funnel cloud or something?  What would pick up a roof, supports and pier block toss them over two roofs and set them down again without a lot of noise?  I have heard some thunder in my day and I know that the rolling I heard was thunder, so where was the sound of all of that mass of roof and supports being torn from its place at the front of the house. Could I have missed that?  Is it possible?  I am baffled to say the least.
Once I got outside yesterday to access the situation I was then faced with the reality of cleaning it all up.  Now I can handle most of the debris.  I am a pretty strong gal but I tried to pull the veranda roof off of the house roof and it was not budging.  I called my boyfriend, who was working about an hour away and he said he would come up as soon as he was done on the job site.  Great!!!Help would be on it's way. 
I rent the house where I am living but the landlord is not to responsive in any kind of a timely manner.  He always has to hem and haw about things.  It can be very aggravating.  Especially when you need to get things done right away, which is where I was yesterday.  I didn't mention that the veranda roof stopped on top of the house roof because it got hooked up on the chimney.  When it got hooked up it knocked off the top cover and stack of the chimney.  The only thing stopping the rain from falling into the chimney part, that was left, was the veranda roof that was laying over the top of it.  Now you have to understand, the only heat I have is a wood burning stove.  If I cannot have a fire it will get cold quickly.  Now the house roof is metal and the veranda roof is also metal so there really wasn't any danger of starting a fire however there was a new storm coming in and having all that debris on top of the roof was just another mess waiting to happen. 
My landlord lives in San Francisco and I really didn't think that he would run up here to clean up anything and besides he has rheumatoid arthritis.  It is very difficult for him to do physical work and my boyfriend was more than willing to come up and take care of removing the roof and replacing the chimney stack and top.  Yeah!!!! I would stay warm.  Staying dry has not been a problem.  The house is intact.  I must say though that not having the front veranda covering makes me feel a bit exposed.  I will be looking forward to getting it fixed.  Now that the rain is pummelling the front of the house I have a breaker that is tripped and will not flip back on.  This means no over head lights in any of the bedrooms, no lights in the second bathroom, no electricity to my clock and the lamp in my bedroom either and no over head light in my dining room or to the any of the plugs in the living room. I also do not have electricity to the front porch light either.   I do however have electricity to the master bath, the kitchen and the laundry room.  Go figure.  The electricity set up in this house is just plain weird.  It makes no sense.  All of the afore mentioned non existent electricity is on one breaker and it is a 15 amp breaker no less.  The questionable part is why is the breaker tripping and if it is from the rain pumelling the front of the house and the only electrical item out there is the porch light then the rain is getting into the fixture and that is just not safe!  How long will I be without electricity is the question I have now.  At least I do have enough to get along.  Oh the joys of life.  Never a dull moment.  Many years ago I ran a day care and took care of 6-8 children.  One of the mothers told me one time that I lived a very exciting life and there was never a dull moment.  One could live vicariously through me.  Well I am sure that many of us have full and exciting lives it just depends on how we look at things.  I personally like to look at life as a gigantic adventure.  Well isn't it the journey not the destination?  I figure that if we are safe then it's all fun and excitement. 
I sit here at my window looking to the east and I know the sun is coming up for I can see outside now.  I see the rain now where as I just heard it a little while ago.  Like I said yesterday the waterways are over flowing one into the other.  Everything is soaked.  I wonder about the dogs, the sheep and where do the birds go.  Are they all huddled up in the trees?  They must be.  I know that the sheep cram themselves in to what ever little space they can in the barn but where the dogs go I do not know.  The barn?  Probably but I would think the best place would be in the lean to garages for I know they are dry and they were recently cleaned out.  That is what I would do but I am not the dogs.  Nick was up here yesterday trying to find a place around the house to get out of the rain but with the roof blown off there really wasn't any place to go and he prefers the front of the house the back is too cluttered and leaky.  This will all change when the rain stops.  The roof will be put back, the supports will be anchored and seams caulked.  We will be prepping for the next big storm so that there will not be a repeat of what just happened. 
Oh I just caught a glimpse of a little bird in the oak tree outside the window.  I do know that I have a lot of birds that hang out in the wood pile and that is protected from the weather. Well folks I've got school work to do so I'll catch you all later.