Sunday, August 31, 2014

Something for Something

I got a new dog . . . The Man got a 2007 KLR650.

Quid pro quo?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Waltzing Matilda

Last week Friday we brought home a new addition to the family. On that day she was officially declared to be a "stray" and available for adoption. The local Animal Shelter gives an owner seven days to claim their lost pet; sadly no one claimed her.

On the second day of her Animal Shelter life we preadopted her, i.e., paid her adoption fees and licensing in the event she wasn't claimed. In other words, we put first dibs on her. Truthfully, I was sorry to see that no one came looking for her. I searched the Lost Pets section in Craigslist, but no one was looking for an adult female, Queensland Heeler mix, black and white with blue eyes.

The SLO Animal Shelter spays/neuters the adoptees prior to adoption so on Thursday, the day before her surgery, we brought Mele to the Shelter for a meet and greet. We thought the newer dog might be in a better mood without drugs and pain clouding her reactions. To say it went well is questionable: the new dog growled at Mele, pulled extremely hard on the leash while walking, and shed her fur by the handfuls. The Shelter Volunteer, Sheila, reassured us that everything was okay and normal, including the shedding, "it's the stress".

The Man and I decided Mattie was a good name for an Australian cattle dog. "You know, Waltzing Matilda", he said. This was after he nixed my suggestions for names: "Ruby"(no), "Katy"(already had that name in the family, Tina's dog), "Ellie" (sounds like Mele), "Kylie", means boomerang, (no). Luckily I liked Mattie as soon as he suggested it.

Here's our Progress Report for the past week:
  • Mattie walks calmly on the leash without pulling as a result of our daily pack leader power walk, a la Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer.
  • Less fur shedding, lots of brushing.
  • Free ranging with the Goaty Boys. Occasionally Mattie needs a few "Hey! Hey!" reminders when she starts herding them too aggressively. Though we've noticed the Boys seem to taunt her. They just won't leave her alone. (I'm looking at you, Zeke and Wyatt.)
  • Best buddies with Mele, no squabbles of dominance, that's because it took less than a second for Mele to roll over on her back and allow Mattie to be top dog.

At the beginning of the week our neighbor, Matt, came over to help cut down a drought-stricken, precariously-leaning pine tree. He took one look at Mattie and said she wasn't a Queensland Heeler but a McNab Sheepdog, a Scottish dog. The Man started calling her Maggie and initially I was agreeable to changing her name but after thinking about it I decided to stick with Mattie. We can't be changing the dog's name willy-nilly every time we think of a better name. If The Man wants to he can call her McMattie.

Mele, adoptee, Maui Humane Society, 12/15/08

Happy Labor Day, 2014.
Thank you to SLO County Animal Services Shelter Staff and Volunteers.
To Volunteers: Larry and Sheila, a very special thank you from Mattie.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Out and About: Field and Space Trip

August 13, 2014
Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA
Farm Tour

Talley Farms, Arroyo Grande, CA

Precooling helps to remove field heat from produce boxed up directly in the fields.

Vacuum cooling (sucks the heat out)

Hydrocooling with ice cold water (rinses veggies too)

Green bell peppers

Packing boxes

As an added bonus we watched another Atlas V rocket, launched from Vandenberg AFB, from the Talley Farms parking lot.

Last week's produce box: The fruits of Talley Farm's labor.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Keeper of the Bees

When The Man and I first moved to Atascadero we frequently drove by a house with a table set up in the driveway. The table displayed a variety of mason jars with golden amber liquid as well as a metal box. Usually no one was around so if you wanted to buy a jar of honey you would just leave your money in the box. It was, you know, the honor system.

Driving by the green house became our favorite route because right next door housed a family of goats in a little paddock: a big white buck, mamas, and babies. In the early spring, lots and lots of babies. This was before we got our own Boys and many a time we would pull off the main road and watch the silly antics of the kids. (Coincidentally, this was the same herd that came to live next door to us for a brief period.)

It was just a matter of time before we started buying the home-grown honey. Most of the time it didn't seem like anyone was home and we left our money in the metal box. Only once did we meet Mr. Stoltey as he pulled up into his driveway. We said "howdy" and he came over to explain the different varieties and flavors of the honey he made. Before we left he thanked us for stopping by and buying his honey.

The Last Honey

Mr Stoltey passed away last October at the age of 77. He leaves behind, Jean, his bride of five years, and his customers who will remember his honor-system honey, sold from a table in his driveway.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Crafted In Bone

We're fortunate to have a Cost Plus World Market in SLO. Their motto: "Unique, authentic, and always affordable" made my day when we first moved here and needed furniture asap to accommodate our first visitors. We made several trips to World Market and furnished our home just the way we were hoping to. Let's just say Armando from World Market gives me a hearty "hello" when he sees me.

Nowadays, I don't visit World Market too often but I do get their weekly emails. I had to smile when I saw their ad for "Wood Grain Medium Antlers", crafted in resin. (Though I had to grimace at the typos in their ad.)

WHY WE LOVE IT  Our Wood Grain Medium Antlers are all the rage! This top-of-trend decor piece is designed to as nature-inspired visual interest to you bookshelf, centerpiece or tabletop. Ideal for holiday tableaux, eclectic living spaces or your mountain getaway.

We've been lucky that our local deer have been supplying us with their discarded antlers.

8/9/14  7:30am

If they keep it up we'll have a shed antler chandelier in no time at all.

Gathering shed antlers or "sheds" attracts dedicated practitioners who refer to it colloquially as shed hunting. In the United States, the middle of December to the middle of February is considered shed hunting season, when deer, elk, and moose begin to shed. Wikipedia

Friday, August 1, 2014

Out and About: San Diego Road Neighbors

June-July-August, 2014
iPhone Pics

Some of the critters we see/meet/run into on our walks.

Happy August 1st.