Sunday, June 25, 2017

Nice and Easy

Sunday 1:25 pm

Launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base with 10 next-generation Iridium communications satellites (as seen from the comfort of our shaded picnic table).

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sleep Tight

Every evening, before the sun sets, the whole group - people, dogs, and goats - head down the driveway for ball throwing, ball chasing, and an evening meal. When the sun disappears behind the hills the group heads up Bird Lane to the pen.

In last week's post I mentioned that the animals' enclosure is secured with an electrified fencing wire that encircles the pen as well as gates and doors that keep everyone locked in for the night. When we get to the pen "the goats split up into two groups, run into their own houses, and eagerly await their pan of COB."

We do this every day, it's our nightly routine.

Last Friday, June 9th, the Game Camera took videos of felines frolicking near the pen. We're glad our animals were safe in their houses and not invited to the party.

Neighbor's Kitty 12:03 am

Bob Cat 10:29 pm

Mountain Lion 10:54 pm 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Rise and Shine

Every morning, first thing, someone needs to let the critters out of the pen. It's an unspoken agreement that the first person awake - or the first person that gets out of bed - does the duty. Most of the time we take turns but lately I've been eager to head out the door with the dogs leading my way.

When I get to the pen I turn off the electrified fencing wire that encircles the pen and open the gate. Next I open the secondary gates and doors that have kept the goats and chickens locked in their houses overnight. The goats leave the pen but the chickens follow me around as I start my chores.

The goat houses, chicken coop, and nesting boxes are cleaned. Water pails, goat minerals, and chicken food gets refilled. Two metal pans are filled with a scoop of COB - corn, oats, barley laced with molasses. (In the evening the goats split up into two groups, run into their own houses, and eagerly await their pan of COB. We found it's less chaotic if the COB is prepared ahead of time. Trust me on this.)

Before I leave the pen the chickens receive a bit of the sweet treat.

 The goats wait patiently for me to finish up.

When I'm done in the pen we head off for a walk down the driveway,

 stopping for a quick snack,

then down the steep driveway they go - running, jumping, twirling. (It's best to get out of their way. Trust me on this.)

We turn up Bird Lane and the goats go to work as I head back to the house to feed the dogs and make myself a cup of coffee.

Another day starts anew, good morning.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rewards of the Simple Life

The first day of summer is still a month away but we've already had temperatures in the 90's. Hot buggy weather. Then the very next day we drop back down into the chilly 60's. Up, down, up, and down.

Spring - a time of transition, renewal, rebirth, and retirement.

What? Retirement?

After much hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing, and sleepless nights I decided to retire from 35 years of nursing and on Wednesday, April 12th, I happily hung up my stethoscope.

I requested a Luau-theme party at work because I wanted to share my Hawaiian-kine cooking: kalua pig, lomi lomi salmon, and hapa rice. The party was fun and delicious.

My last day of work was a perfect work day with happy smiling people - staff, doctors, and patients  - it made me feel uneasy. So why was I leaving such a fun work environment and enjoyable group of friends?

Over the next two weeks I was filled with indecision, sadness, and regret. I missed my co-workers, my patients, my usual routine. (Psst, here's a secret: I'm not good with change even if it is change "for the better".)

I took the advice of several people who said to give it time.

Now, many weeks later, I find I don't miss going to work. I don't think about it at all. I've been too busy.

John Burroughs, Leaf and Tendril, 1908

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Nesting Zone

A few days ago I surprised a little bird while raking the narrow space between the house and the raised garden bed.

I wouldn't have thought too much about it except the bird, a Dark-eyed Junco, didn't fly away. It hovered close by and tsk-tsked angrily at me.

Which made me curious.

I moved my rake aside, contorted myself into the small space, and peeked under the wooden overhang.

The Lil Mama was watching me (still tsking) as I moved away from her nest.

Since then I've learned that I can water the garden and move quietly around the planter area without disturbing the Lil Mama off her nest.

Yesterday morning as I watered the garden The Man rapped on the window and made wavy motions with his hand. What? Oh.

I grabbed a stick to detour the garter snake away from the Nesting Zone. I hope the Lil Mama and her eggs will be okay because, you know, snakes can't read.