Saturday, August 20, 2016

Eagle Blessed

The Man's big red barn is finally finished and it's a beauty. It's been a long drawn out process of people showing up - or not showing up - since the end of June. The animals have not been too keen about being locked up and the goats were very vocal about it. (Heeeyyy, whaaat's the biiig deal?)

My personal request for the barn was a cupola with a classic rooster weather vane. The Man sent me a text after it was installed, "Hope you like eagle windvanes." I thought he was kidding.

8/20/16 10:50am

8/20/16 10:51 am

While I was taking the photos of the cupola this morning I glimpsed a black and white bird overhead. My heart fluttered. Camera in hand, I ran to a clearing beyond the oak trees. It was a bald eagle.

8/20/16 11:02 am

8/20/16 11:02 am

Cropped photo, 8/20/16 11:02 am

Well. Okay then. Eagle weather vane it is.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Runaround Sue

Serendipity: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

Last week The Man and I drove south to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. We went to see a special exhibit called, A T. Rex Named Sue. We had watched the documentary, Dinosaur 13, and learned that Sue was an extremely well-preserved, nearly complete, 67-million-year-old fossil, and her discovery prompted an intense legal battle over her ownership.

Okay, silly me, I thought I was going to see the actual Sue, the 8.4 billion dollar dinosaur, instead of "Traveling Sue", an exact replica. Only after looking at all the exhibits, did I go up to The Man and ask, "Is this the real dinosaur?" Yep, kinda slow sometimes. A few minutes later I overheard a kid, a little kid,  say, " . . . and some people thought they'd bring the real Sue here . . . . " (He was not looking my way.)

I was disappointed about Sue not being "real" but enjoyed the permanent exhibits and the bygone-days-dioramas from the '50's. The docents were kind and listened patiently to our stories of close encounters with wild things as we looked at the stuffed displays of mountain lions, raccoons, bobcats, skunk and other critters.

We crossed paths with Frank Hein, the Director of Exhibits, on our way to the Butterfly Pavilion. We asked him about the replica and he enthusiastically told us about the exhibit: There's two Traveling Sues on tour, it took 7 people to set her up - directed by someone from the Field Museum in Chicago (where the real Sue lives), the display has been to Boston and Hawaii - then he took out his iPhone and showed us the pictures of them setting up the display and how the skeleton is perfectly balanced. Sue and the displays arrived in 3 big semi rigs which must've been a feat in itself. Even The Man's Dodge Ram truck seemed too big as he maneuvered through the older narrow residential area near the Museum.

Okay, now I'm impressed by the effort taken to present A T. Rex named Sue exhibit and glad we made the day trip to Santa Barbara.

As I wrote this post I remembered Bishop Museum on Oahu had a dinosaur display while we lived there so I googled and found a Honolulu Star-Bulletin article dated Saturday, July 15, 2000. The first line read "You'd have to be extinct not to have heard about Hawaii's newest and biggest star, a 45-foot dinosaur named Sue." I thought it was amazing that Hawaii received Traveling Sue in July, the Field Museum Sue exhibit had just opened two months earlier in May. (The Dinosaur 13 documentary premiered in 2014.)

This is funny, the article also stated, "Sue, wearing two dinosaur-size orchid leis for the occasion, was illuminated by dozens of flashbulbs and home video camera lights." Remember, this was in the year 2000, a time before cellphones with built-in cameras.

I continued to read, " . . . it took 2 years to bring Sue to Hawaii. Richard Duggan, who was in charge of assembling Sue, and McDonald's of Hawaii were instrumental in lobbying to get Sue to Hawaii; the other traveling exhibit opened in Boston last month. Duggan worked at Chicago's Field Museum for several years before transferring to Hawaii."

Wait. What? Richard Duggan. Richard. Duggan.

He was our neighbor in Kaneohe. Yep, no kidding. His wife Susan was our librarian at the Kaneohe branch till she transferred to town but we saw them both several times a week since they lived at the end of the street and had to pass by our house. Susan loved the idea that The Man remodeled our home by borrowing library books. She could follow our home improvement progress by the books we checked out.

Serendipity, a happy accident, a happy coincidence? I often tell The Man my spirits and guides are talking to me and I listen.

 ~ ~ ~

SLO Yarns blog is approaching it's fourth birthday. If it wasn't for a technical glitch I could have said I've posted an entry every single week for four years. Okay, truthfully, it was user error not a glitch - I had an entry queued up to automatically post July 1st while we were on the road to Colorado but didn't press the "done" button so the entry didn't get posted automatically like I assumed it would.

About every other month or so I think about giving the blog up. This thought usually crosses my mind on a beautiful Sunday or Saturday morning (like today) when The Man waves to me as he hops on his KLR motorcycle for a Central Coast back roads ride.

Fortunately, it's only a fleeting thought. I turn back to my MacBook, sip my coffee, and find my words: I love the words.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

SnapShots: July-ness

- ness (noun suffix) : state, condition, quality

Summer Baking ~
Fresh Fruit Galette (pluots, peaches, nectarines, and early apples)

Sunburst Summer Squash Bread

Moto-Camping Trip, No. 1 ~ 
It's a Guy Thang, 7/16 - 7/17/16

Mid-State Fair, 7/28/16 ~
Free Concert: Asleep at the Wheel

Sling Shot Ride (Sorry, Z. we're not doing that)

Zero Gravity Massage Chairs (We can do that, yeehaw)

Selfie on the Shuttle

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hello, Goodbye

Over the past month our household has seen several changes.

Our good neighbors, Matt and Karin, were relocated for work to Wyoming and were unable to bring their two goats. I held out, "No, no, absolutely not," till the very last moment - which was when The Man came walking up the driveway with Matt's blonde goat on a leash. In the end the temporary arrangement of housing them for a few days became a more permanent adoption.

The two females, Legs and Babe, are Pygmy goats (Matt calls them "Yoda goats"). Legs (one of her back legs doesn't bend) is blonde-colored so I tried calling her Buttercup but the name did not fit her bulldog personality, now she's called Mama Legs and the dark-colored goat is Baby Boots.

Mama Legs has the biggest head out of all the goats and has butted her way to the top of the herd.

 Only Bitsy says "Nay, nay" while nimbly dodging Big Mama's big head.

Then a few weeks ago we adopted Sandee's chickens.


Currently the pen has two coops and two goat houses. The new chickens are in their own coop with run and they're housed directly across from the new goats' kennel/goat house.

It was time for The Man to get his long-awaited, much-anticipated, Shop/Barn/Shed/Man cave. Although it's still a work in progress, it is a beauty.

And, sadly, last week, we said goodbye to Baby, the red hen. She was a very good girl.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Out And About: Roundups and Rodeos

Family Reunion
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
July 4th Weekend
7/2/16 - 7/7/16

We made it, we crossed over into Colorado. The Man's brother, Ron, was meeting us at Yampa River State Park, a mere two hours away.

Before we got there I had The Man pull over to a dirt lot in the town of Craig so I could make lunch. He was excited about the reunion but I needed to eat and was getting mighty grouchy. I fixed a quick orange marmalade sandwich and then we were good to go. (Note to self: Always pack peanut butter.)

We met Ron, Sheila, and grandkids - Ben and Oliver - at the playground. They were finishing up their deli meat sandwiches, dang. After unhitching the travel trailer in our reserved campsite we followed Ron to his cabin in the mountains.

At the end of the County-maintained road it turned into a muddy track. Unfortunately the muddy track led to Ron's cabin. As the sky darkened and rain drops fell we decided The Man's manly 2WD truck wouldn't make the grade. In due time we were going to head back to our campsite but in the meantime we made ourselves comfortable.

On the way back to the Campground we passed another brother, Jim. I didn't see him coming, I was checking out the scenery.

With more rain on the already muddy track it was a washout for everyone. In no time at all the party came to our campsite. Remember our motto: Self-contained and Flexible?

The next day we headed to Jim's cabin for a Sunday BBQ.

Chef Chris was manning the grill - ribs, chicken, beef tri-tip, fresh corn on the cob, and SLO Cattaneo Bros. Linguica.

A fun-filled day with family, food, and firearms. The best part (after family and food, of course) was the exploding targets. Yeehaw.

When all the exploding targets were used up we left Jim's cabin and drove the travel trailer to the Steamboat Springs KOA. We thought it would be convenient to stay closer to town so we had made reservations for a two-night stay. We had stayed there before and enjoyed our stay. This time we found ourselves in a city on wheels. (Note to self: Never ever again on a summer holiday weekend.)

The next day, we drove up to Ron's cabin, only 4-Wheel Drive vehicles this time, so we hitched a ride with Sheila.

Later, that evening - 4th of July - Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo.

Our family took up three tiers of bleacher seats. (Sheila put dibs on the seats with a tarp.)

Calf Scramble - grab the ribbon from the calf's tail. It didn't take long.

Fourth of July Fireworks - shot upwards from the hill behind us - almost as good as the exploding targets.

Early the next morning we headed for home. It was Tuesday and we needed to be home by Thursday. Along the way we had two more nights of camping and a bonus stop for The Man.

Tuesday night - Castle Rock Campground, Fishlake National Forest, Utah. From our campsite we could hear the baby peregrine falcons (eyasses) and watch the parents returning to their nests.

Wednesday night - Tehachapi Mountain Park, Kern County, CA. Next morning, breakfast at Kelcy's Restaurant, downtown Tehachapi.

I-Spy as we drove by . . . .

While The Man was shopping for his many manly hobbies along the way I kept busy with my own endeavors (which left little room for my feet).

Suffice it to say I was a knitting fiend, well, you know.

That's it, Colorado or Bust. Or in our case, bust in Colorado. The "new" rebuilt transmission needed a rebuild. We were told (again) that it will be as good as new.

Oh, and sad to say, the bicycles just went for the ride, their tires never touched the ground. Though I'm sure they had a good time anyway. Maybe next time.

The End.