Friday, August 10, 2012

Bird House & Barn

... a Farm Report.

Zelda inspects the apple, Ada and Tasha, left behind.

On the coast, in Southern California, summer is sizzling: 76 degrees. My apologies to anyone enduring temperatures less temperate. Being near the ocean gives us some relief from weather extremes, and while we have it relatively easy, our relatives in the eastern parts of our county are suffering. Go fifty-five minutes east and you get triple digits!

No rain. That's always a bummer if you want to keep garden beds perky and green. We are (or should be) accustomed to drought conditions, but it doesn't stop me from pining for a nice, big thunderstorm. Oh, that would be grand. I know even the chicas would run in the rain with us.

Goats: The goats are as frisky, curious, playful, and hungry as ever. We've had less success walking them, lately. Taking them out is a slow, dragging endurance contest, but when we turn toward home they run so hard and fast they can pull your shoulder out of place. I guess by now they are full grown. Ada, here, was born February 25. She's the talker, always reporting to us her thoughts and opinions.

Ada and Sanka bunny, nosing each other.

Sanka, in her fancy bunny loft, with access to burrowing in the cool earth.

If Ada is chatty, then I would say Tasha is subdued, introspective. Of course her actions speak volumes. Give her half a chance and she will charge through the rose bed, crash across the outdoor table, knock over chairs, dive into the apple basket, and tumble open her grain bin, with Ada close on her heals, bleating joyfully. Tasha is older, by four days, but I cannot say what, if anything, this accounts for. One thing I can count on, to settle them both: brushing. They love a good back scratch, and salon attention. Brush them, and their goats eyes get even more of a glazed, transfixed look.

Watermelon? A generous helping, for goats and chickens alike.

I think we've covered our tomato success well enough. We still have plenty, and I am
still mad for roasting them. The other garden stars include sunflowers, and pumpkins. I wish we had a root cellar. I need to decide where to stash these Moonshine beauties, until Halloween.

Better make sure I find a safe place to stash them.

Maaaaa-ah! She always has something to say.

Like some goats, chicas can crow, too! Here comes Little Debbie. You wouldn't think it to see her, tiny as she is, but she can raise a roof with her clucking.

Inside the barn we find shade and comforts, like water, good books, cool sheets, and sweet figs. It's a marvelous summerhouse, a favorite with everyone.

Maria and I stretched out in the bed, ate figs, tossed the end bits to the chicas, and bunnies, then started reading Charlotte's Web. Wilbur and his new-to-be friend have just spoken to each other for the first time... at bedtime, by lantern light, we'll meet Charlotte.

We are still gathering herbs, like lavender, and thyme. The tin is full of drying thyme. We enjoy pulling off the leaves, filling a small hanky, then saving them in an envelope.

Complete? Hmmm... the cats are well, all the chicas are healthy, clucky, plucky, and Crumpet fish swims happily enough. Our Farm report is complete.

The End

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments, for all to find and see.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Summer Is...

Summer is a rush! It goes by quickly, and full of urgency to make the most of freedom and fun. This moment was back in July, when So Cal was barely warming up: we were so eager to believe that it was hot enough to feel refreshed in our unheated pool... we went in, despite the cold. Even the two in wetsuits were shivering! At the time, I hesitated to share this since the rest of the country was in the early days of what has been a long, lasting heat wave. Now, we are in a heat wave of our own, and the pool finally does feel actually refreshing, but alas... our summer rush, our freedom and fun is too quickly drawing to an end.

What is your summer about? How are you staying cool? What were you eager to rush into, when summer began? Please join us in the comments, or link to your own blog, and tell us what is making your summer special.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Summer Is...

Summer is lunch from a garden... figs, apples, plums, blueberries, carrots, tomatoes. It's cool sheets, hot afternoons, breezes through open windows, and bare feet. In the Barn we have water in tall glass bottles, and figs on a ledge, next to our books. Jane Austen, anyone? Yes, it is romantic.

What is your summer about? Please join us in the comments, or link to your own blog, and tell us what is making your summer special.

Summer Is...

Summer is for friends playing, celebrating Max's birthday. A favorite cake, splashing in the pool, devouring all the snacks, laughing at really absurd stuff, staying up late, later, super late, too late? Not everyone is in town, but some of Max's best buddies came by, and he said the small gathering, the themeless, unplanned soiree was great!

Max has had a good year, a progressive year, and ahead... lot's more good stuff.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Play Now, Blog Later

Going back to May... no, March, or April... ?

Anyways, since last spring, I have been falling behind on things I want to blog about, pictures I want to share, ideas I want to describe. Suddenly it is August. And I do mean suddenly! Where the heck have June and July gone, people?! Gah. Not only is it already August, but we are a week into August, which brings me to something really truly, deeply sad: School starts in less than two weeks.

Let us pause, a moment of silence, for this devastating news.

Fortunately, my children are far more mature and capable, than I, and so I am taking this moment to remind myself: Natalie, the Chickenblogger, for your children's sake, do not whine, squirm, fuss, moan, twitch, berate, grouch, grumble, suffer, writhe, wallow, or snerk about "back-to-schoolness."

Not easy... maturity, sophistication, leadership, quadratic equations, but I am trying to step it up.

Okay. So. Obviously our waning summer is a real pisser a minor inconvenience. So. I am thinking up ways to squeeze in more summerness, more of the forty-two things we planned, hoped, and dreamed of at the start of our break, and I have to make them fit into the teeny-tiny-eensy-weensy time remaining. Because I take a long time editing photos and writing up posts for the the blog, I think I need to step back, pare it down, set Chickenblog aside, while we play. Then, when school resumes, I can be a posting fool!

(Never mind that during school, I dreamed of playing catch-up with the blog, and personal goals, over summer... only to find myself at the end of my opportunity, and fabricating yet another game plan. Oy.)

Alrighty, then, the plan is: Play now, and blog later. But because I am compulsive about my dear Chickenblog, I will check-in everyday, with snippets, and tid-bits... like this:

Summer is for cousins playing together, sundresses, catching lizards, laughter, singing, smiles, and play. We enjoyed a very special opportunity for all of the above, when we all met in Pasadena, to celebrate Eunice's ninetieth birthday. She said she finds it hard to believe that she is ninety, but that when she looked around, a room full of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, she could believe it! God blessed you, Grandma. God blessed us all.

Alison, I love this photograph. Thank you! Cutie cousins, Marissa, Dominic, and Maria. What great memories this holds.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


We are blessed, to know you, to have you in our lives.
Happy Birthday! This calls for a party, don't you think? Ninety years, any year, is worthy of a family gathering. For laughter, for gentle hugs, for cariños, to be in your company, enjoying your unique grace and beauty.

Te quiero, abuela, muchisimo.