Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bird House & Barn

... a Farm Report~

Can you tell Ada is bleating to beat the band? Seems it is the time of year when our dear Lady Goats, Ada and Tasha, are looking for romance. We've seen, and heard, the signs, before... long days of bleating, and when Tasha joins Ada in the cry, then we know it's a longing for some male companionship. I am sorry, dear Lady Goats. We haven't found any suitable suitors.

{Bird House & Barn now accepting interviews with handsome, fun-loving bucks, with family-minded intentions. Maybe next year... }

I expect to hear plenty from Tasha Tudor Goat and Ada Lovelace Goat through the day, and probably by tomorrow, they'll be over it.

The barn is really and truly a barn, now that it's painted red. Geoff insisted that we should paint it "Barn Red," but at the hardware store Kathy said that paint color would need many, many coats to get it right, and she led us to another section where we chose our own Barn Red, which Behr calls "Forbidden Red." We kept this minor detail on the down low, knowing Geoff was certain that only genuine "Barn Red" would do. Everyone, we must keep this paint secret under wraps!

"Forbidden Red?"


We painted our barn the truest, most genuine Barn Red.

We keep pretending it's autumn, here at the Bird House. Days are in the sixties, and at night, dip a bit cooler, still. We've had mornings so overcast and foggy we can almost imagine it's actually rained. Around town we've looked for fall color, like the four red maples next to the Taco Town. Janece captured some beautiful fall moments.

I watch our animals for clues, too. Seems a couple of the hens went for a last minute molt. Will they fluff up and feather out in time for a cold, wet winter? I am hoping for all of the above. Ada goat is the one I am really betting on, because her under coat is very wooly... we even felted her fleece! If she's starts to get more of that pale creamy fluff under her hair, then I will know we have a chance of enjoying some lovely winter weather.

They eat like winter is coming!

And not far from the goats, we find Little Debbie. All the other hens are on their side of the run, enjoying their dinner. And Little Debbie, the former queen of the barn yard? She has most assuredly {and deservedly?} been dethroned. Small as she is {think fat pigeon,} she really did rule the roost, hen pecking and chasing all the other hens. It was a bit mean, and awfully silly. Staying top hen among the chickens that towered over her was a full time job, that she relished in earnest. But I warned her, Little Debbie, be careful. Someday they'll realize they are four times your size, and then you won't be so high on the roost! But she was a chicken with conviction, and never gave her feathered sisters a break.

Well, no more. The tide has turned against Little Debbie, and it's not silly, or funny, or fair. Nine hens are chasing, pecking, harassing, and wearing out one wee little chickie. Poor dear. She earned it, true, but it's getting out of hand. There's talk of finding Little Debbie a cottage of her own. Exile, for the former dictator, where she can live out her golden years reflecting on her spotted past, and hopefully find redemption.

Ada, you darling goof. I love you, so.

And you, too, Tasha. Oh, these goaters of ours.

The barn was painted, and we chose paint for the Bird House, too. Of course, it may be another year before we can show you the after pictures. Two stories of house painting. Big walls. Oh my. But before we paint our house, Geoff is making improvements to the deck that leaks into the living room. He tore out rotted wood, and built an extension to hang over the porch. It's nearly complete, and the help from Paul made a nice difference. I love what it does for the look of the back of the house. The second story was a great expanse of siding, and the new little roof acts like eyebrows on a face... making a nice expression.

Except for a couple of flats of flowers I planted before Halloween, the garden is about as quiet as it was the last time I wrote about our neglected garden.

We do have three carrots, though. Salad any one? One. Salad. Small.

Let me wrap up this post, then I'll finish planting these Sweet William, and pansies. And honestly, how hard could it be to sow more carrots, add a row of spinach, and peas? I'll be so glad I did, come March.

You'd think we were in Maine, or Oregon. And seeing our wood stack, I must admit, gives me a comforting sense of readiness.

Come winter! Fall, at least. We want your rain, and wind, your, puddles, and rivulets. Welcome, seasonal weather, long nights, and muddy spots. We are ready for campfire eves, friends in the kitchen, and wooly goats.

The light, this time of year, is soft, pink, golden. It shimmers on the leaves, and makes everything glow. It's lovely.

Friday, November 14, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo, capturing a moment from the week.
A special moment. A moment I want to 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.

Bambi and Alex set sail...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Looking For Fall

Last year we took our picnics and cameras to a park, looking for fall, and it was a lovely and low-key adventure, one I am sure we vowed to revisit soon, and often. Seems soon and often is in the realm of once a year. That's okay. I think we are destined to arrive on the finest day of the year. The clouds put on a show, the birds were flighty and full of songs. We even had the amusing honor of being visited by Duke, happiest free-ranging pup on the green! We discovered a small pond (If you are in a region not stricken by drought, please refer to "small pond" as "concrete lined puddle.") Basically, we enjoyed our sandwiches and veggies, had yummy cookies Janece baked, then we settled into leaf gazing, picture taking, and throughly enjoying the activities Maria and Amira invented. Their first success was in finding a terrific length of rope, and from there all manner of imaginary play took root and bloomed. We were treated to fall color, which was lovely to behold. All in all, an ideal afternoon... and really, we should do this again soon, and often.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Five Good Things

Janece and I took a neighborhood walk, down in San Diego... should do this every weekend! Of course not every weekend in fall feels like a day in spring! We had a nice excursion, discovered a yummy cafe, learned about a {tee-hee-snicker-snicker} funny {aptly?} named milk weed variety. And all giggling aside, this plant was amazing... full of Monarchs and ladybug beetles. Of course we have plenty of nurseries in our own neighborhood, but Green Gardens looks like a nursery worth a much longer visit.

Meanwhile, back at the Bird House, Geoff and Paul were making great strides on finishing the new overhang on the porch upstairs... this is all part of Operation Keep Rain Outside. Our leaking ceiling is oh-so-very close to being all dried up, and ready for El Niño winter. There really should be a picture, so I am promising myself to get the camera out there. Not only is the new mini roof going to save our living room, but it's giving the back of the house great visual perks. It looks really good. I already have plans for sleeping on the porch, next summer.

I made another pot of the veggie soup we had last week. Maria offered to name the soup, her new favorite, Confetti Soup! It's green, mostly but with all the heirloom veg we get in there, this time including red spinach! it's festively speckled!

Hey, is today really the tenth of November? Seriously? We are thinking of Maria's birthday, and Thanksgiving, Christmas in the city, Winter Solstice, and more nights like Saturday night... fog rolling in, friends gathered 'round, games at the dining table, and even a fire in the fire place. Absolutely perfect. So happy for the moments when we slow down, because things are moving at unbelievable pace!

Good things...

1. Maria and Amira enjoyed a craft class together, and came home with new skills, and some darling minis.

2. Max hosted a card game party... so successful, their next one is today!

3. My friend Diana discovered stickers on FB message, and I got about fifty Pusheens with Pancakes!

4. We have, mostly, completed the planning phase of our A-frame tent scheme, and have made lumber and canvas purchases. Extra good... I think we've wrangled Paul and Janece into our new mania!

5. Dear friends have welcomed two little ones into their beautiful family! I could not be happier ... No, wait I take that back! When I get to finally meet them in person, and hold them, too, then I will be satisfied!

Happy Monday, friends. Happy Veterans's Day. I am grateful for this day to reflect on the generosity, bravery, skills, and sacrifices made by our service men and women, by all who serve, volunteer, protect, teach, heal, and give for our greater good.