Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Hood...

We got it! We got the house! The one I spoke about a couple weeks ago.  It's about 10 minutes from where we live now and a bit more remote. The property is 23 acres large and we are so excited! The home is in a private equestrian area where the landscape is sprinkled with huge oak trees, large estates, horses, vineyards and it's absolutely gorgeous.
We're moving here to rent the property while hoping to purchase 10 acres that the current owner is parceling off.  This means we are one big step closer to our dream... A small ranch and vineyard of our very own.  This move enables me to bring Chancie home and once set up,  rescue another horse.

I can't hardly wait to be able to share piecing of our new homestead with you. This week is going to be bananas as we are moving so I'll be away from this space for a few days. Before I go,  I wanted to leave you with a beautiful sunset from my new porch and thank you all for your sweet words for my Lucy girl.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Lucy girl...

I'm sad to share with you guys that I lost my Lucy girl earlier this week.  The music man built the girls coop like a fortress, it's solid and very secure. In addition to the front door there is a small, very small side door that I can open and close for them to come and go as they please. Recently I had been leaving the small door open 24 hours a day since we have been in and out a lot. Most of our predators are large... coyotes, bob cats, mountain lions etc. nothing that could fit through that little door. I haven't had a problem or seen any tracks around the coop.

Unfortunately I found out that we do have small predator around here. Something small got into the coop the other night and took my Lucy right off the roost. Whatever it was came in quietly and defeathered her inside the coop and left with her. There was no blood, no body... Strange and very upsetting.  I didn't hear a thing, nothing, neither did the dogs. I feel terrible and am a really bad chicken mama for leaving the damn door open.  The other girls were not bothered at all, in fact no trauma whatsoever and they laid like normal that morning.

 The following evening I sprinkled flour around the coop knowing whatever came and took her would be back. Sure enough the next morning there were tracks.  I think it was a raccoon. There were tracks that seemed to make a beeline straight to the small door that of course was closed and locked tight. It also tried to dig under the coop? No problem there since we have wire underneath it.
I am so thankful for my time with Lucy, she was my beautiful black Australorp who blessed us with an egg every single day. I had her for over a year and a half and she always greeted me so sweetly.  I am so sorry I left that door open assuming we were okay... hard lesson learned.

I love this country life but I do not like the loss that is sometimes brings. The country is gorgeous, the not being part of the rat race soothes me but the room for error out here is small and unforgiving. RIP Lucy girl, I'm so sorry.

Friday, August 16, 2013

May I have a Drum Roll Please...

Introducing our newest addition....
This sweet guy was found at the Cali Mex border living out in a field and had been dragged 20' by a car before being rescued. After a few months of rehab and fostering he was now ready for his forever home.  I am so happy and thankful we were able to adopt him. I think he will be a perfect fit for our family.
He looks a bit like Hobo in that he's a Sheppard mix. He is smaller though, his facial markings are different and he has a super cute floppy lil ear. He was a little unsure of everything when we first got home this afternoon but quickly settled in. I'm not sure he has spent much time inside with the exception of the hospital? After sniffing, peeing and running around the property he came inside and within a short time was napping next to Jack. He didn't seem interested in the chickens at all during their first meeting. He, like Jack seems more interested in their poo, yuck. I was and am concerned about that since they free range but so far so very good.
Okay so his name is Duke and I love it, makes me think of John Wayne. I, however tend to throw an "ie" sound on the end of our animals names for some reason...Weird I know but I do, can't help myself.

Second Chance - Chancie,  Choochie, Cheechie Chooch
Jackson Brown -  brown dog, Roonie, Boogie, Jackie, Limpy, Lumpie Lou and a gazillion others
Hobo was Gee Gee Joe
Duke - ie

See the problem?  Due to this I'm thinking I'll need to change his name since Dookie  just sounds wrong.
I like Tucker, Cooper, Riley and Harley... Both Riley and Harley have the E sound already. I think I'll wait a few days for him to fully settle in and see his personality.  Perhaps I can come up with a nick name that would work if we left his name as is? After all Duke IS a great name...
He's a little over a year old and has had a really crummy start to life. I promise he'll have a great rest of his life here with us and I can't wait to spoil him, I mean shucks... look at that face. Sigh. He is such a gentle sweet boy who is now stuck to me like glue. I am smitten to say the least and so very thankful our paths crossed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hump Day Update...

I know we have a lot on our plate these days but with everything coming together it sure feels like confirmation we're on the right road.  We've had our eye on a particular property for months now and have been searching high and low for the owners who live in another city.

This week the music man was able to locate them. We're not sure how it will work out but it looks like we have a good chance of getting in and moving further into the country. A real opportunity to relocate to our dream neighborhood. A 20 acre parcel where I can bring Chancie home, add goats and greatly expand my garden area.  The goal is to rent while the owner finishes permitting a 10 acre split for us to buy in the future. We are so excited but a lot must happen in order to achieve this, our fingers and toes are crossed.

I had a morning meeting with a gal who was a contestant on Survivor a few years ago. She used her short time on TV to make valuable contacts and uses her high energy to create an annual Reality Rally Race here in Wine Country. The race brings in around 100 reality TV stars who race around the town to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.  I enjoyed meeting her and hearing her story. What an inspiring woman and what a wonderful opportunity it will be for my camera and I to be part of next years race.
I came home to the babies dust bathing, its a warm one here today. Aren't they cute, living the good life I tell ya.

Happy Hump Day

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rock Shots and a Country LIfe

Not having to commute like an Ice Road trucker anymore has left me with some much needed time to invest in myself, family and our home. My days are filled picking up manure, working the garden and hanging out with the animals. This, our new norm for the last few years but now my evenings are full shooting shows. So amazing, such totally different life styles, "unreal" in a way and I absolutely love it!

I'm enjoying this new balance between dreaming BIG and real life, it's so much more than I dream't it would be... I've learned so much and am excited, really excited and incredibly thankful for the opportunities and the time to improve my skills.

On the home front, we are actively looking for more land. 10 to 20 acres, room for vines of course but much more room for the animals here now and one's we hope to get as we continue to move towards our goal of a self sustaining lifestyle.

It's been a couple weeks since the teens checked in and barred rocks are much bigger and are now doing well with the big girls. Well, good with them when out free ranging. I think we're close and the Music Man will need to expand the roost area in the coop soon. I'm very relieved that everyone is playing nicely now, phew.

The squirrels have all but destroyed my root veggies and I haven't planted anymore greens. The Garlic and onion harvest was a good one and we are covered there for a while. The tomatoes are booming and I finally have a... just one but it's a start I hope... watermelon growing.  The cabbage and brussel sprouts while being nibbled on are thus far surviving as well.

For my birthday a few weeks ago my parents bought me a green house. I know it is SO cool!  It's large and I am waiting to put it up but am hoping we can soon. I think it may help with the squirrels too?

I mention in my last post that we are ready to rescue another dog, we haven't yet but I have put out some feelers. I'm looking for a dog that can go on trail with me, great with people and of course not go after the chickens.  I'm thinking a heeler but not sure? What breed would you recommend for a small ranch/farm?

I hope your weekend was great, here are some pics from ours.
The music man was off this weekend so we went north. Wow... Three stages on three different decks on the Queen Mary featuring the best of the best tribute bands in the US. What a huge ship, so much history. We had a blast and what a treat for me to have my husband next to me, not playing. The above shots are a dear friend of ours who's band Wanted performed on the main stage. What a show, so so good! If you like Bonjovi check them out when they come to your town if you can. I know you'll love their high energy show.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A bit of this and that...

Phew was this a fast week or what?  I'm a little behind but plan on catching up with you all Sunday. I seem to have the peddle to the metal right now and am flying by the seat of pants. Thankful for high energy and good vibrations.
This weekend the music man is off so we will be heading up north to visit friends and I'll be shooting "Rock The Queen", It's a concert on the Queen Mary, how cool is that? Super! I am excited, amazed and feeling incredibly blessed at all the opportunities coming my way.
This week some of the wineries in our area began harvesting their whites. We still have a few weeks before the reds are ready. The kids go back to school next week and preseason football has started, yay!  Fall is coming, can you feel it?
My big girls are molting, it's a soft one so they are still laying. The teenagers are free ranging and doing really well and I'm thinking we are ready to rescue another doggie...

How was your week?

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Good Visit...

Last Thursday afternoon Monkey and I drove into San Diego to pick up family who was flying in. We left early and planned to visit Little Italy for a snack and a walk before heading to the airport.
We started here at the Pizzeria where shared a couple slices, intentionally saving room for desert from our favorite bakery.
We went in hoping for the Strawberry Napoleon but they hadn't made any the day we visited instead it was Banana. Holy Moly was it amazing! One bite in... And we were like Strawberry what? It was seriously delicious!
After stuffing ourselves silly we went for a walk around the harbor. The weather was perfect. I loved the smell of salt in the air, the sound of water lapping against the edges and watching people heading out on their boats to finish their day.
San Diego is such a beautiful place. So much history, so much to see and so much to do.
We found this spot to watch the sunset and sat happily until it was time to head across the street to the airport.

The house was full this weekend with so much love and laughter. By yesterday afternoon everyone left and the house is again quiet.  What a great time it was though.  Good food, good people and lots of good times.

Linked to One World

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 2, 2013

A new Direction...

If you've been reading my blog for the last few months you probably know that the company I've worked for, for many years was sold a couple months ago. In the merger my position was eliminated. In the restructure I was offered an option to commute to a new branch office.

Since learning about the changes coming my way back in May I began the process of rolling out my photography business. In like all new business it takes time to develop, expertise and funds to market. While working all of these things out I bought a new car and opted to try the commute to keep myself employed.  

The commute on average takes an hour and a half each way rendering a daily commute that is on average three hours, unless of course there's heavy traffic.  All the time on the road and in the office has been tough on me, both physically and mentally. I have wished several times over that nothing had changed. I wished I still worked from home and that everyday was still... just everyday, cookie cutter style.

I find comfort in the status quot but also in knowing that everything in life happens for a reason. That there is a much bigger picture and I'm in good hands. Challenges and unexpected shake ups to our daily life serve a purpose and hopefully make us better. So with that heart and mind I am am thankful for the changes coming our way.  Thankful for my faith and thankful that I can now fully go after a dream.
Such a great message from Marla Rae and shared by Hope Farms. 

After much prayer and conversations with the music man I am super excited and super nervous to share with you that as of today I no longer will be making the drive or have an office to go into.   While I don't know what tomorrow will bring us,  I do know that today is good, life is good and I am extremely blessed.
Please "like" my Facebook page by clicking here if you haven't already. Thank you everyone, our friends and family for all your support and amazing kind words regarding my work, it means SO very much.

I have this Dr. Seuss quote on my kitchen board right now, always has been one of my favorites.

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. 
And you know what you know.
Oh the places you'll go!"

Happy Weekending,